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How Many Teeth Does a Wolf Have?

The wolf is a canid or a dog family member. They can be found in forests, mountains, and tundra, where they hunt deer and elk. These animals are known for their distinct howl, which they use to communicate with other pack members.

Because of its ability to hunt large prey, many people wonder how many teeth does a wolf have. Aside from their powerful jaws, these animals use their teeth to grab and kill their prey.

In this article, we’ll look at this characteristic of wolves to learn more about them.

Key takeaways:

  • Wolves’ teeth are classified into four: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.
  • Unlike adults, puppies only grow 28 teeth and are replaced by adult teeth after 4 – 6 months.
  • Both wolves and dogs have similar teeth but wolves’ are larger and stronger.
  • Wolves rarely attack humans and are usually uninterested in them unless they’re threatened.

How many teeth does a wolf have?

Alpha Wolf Male
Alpha Wolf Male | Image by Ron Porter from Pixabay

Wolves have 42 teeth on average inside their mouth, which is critical for their survival in the wild. Their teeth are used for hunting other animals for food, tearing their prey apart, and eating it. They also use their teeth to defend themselves against predators who may wish to eat them.

A wolf’s teeth can tell you how old it is

The teeth of wolves can be used to determine their age. These animals’ teeth wear down as they age because they use them primarily to catch, grab, and feed in the wild.

The wolf’s teeth become more worn out as it ages. The thickness of the dentin and cementum in wolves’ canine teeth can also be used to determine their age.

Do wolves have more teeth than dogs?

The teeth of wolves and dogs are very similar. Both have a complete set of 42 teeth, including the sharp canines used to rip food.

Their teeth’s sizes are the main difference between them. Because they must be able to chew through tougher meat, wolves need teeth that are larger and more powerful than those of dogs.

Functions of wolf teeth

Wolves have 42 teeth and are classified similarly to humans, with four types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.


Incisors are the teeth at the front of a wolf’s mouth, and there are 12 of them, six on the upper jaw and six on the lower jaw. These teeth are important because they assist wolves in cutting their prey.

After grabbing a piece of food with their paws, wolves will nibble down on it with their incisors to cut off small chunks of meat from the carcass. These teeth are also used by them to carry small objects, such as pieces of wood, or to groom and scratch their bodies.


Canine teeth serve a variety of functions for wolves, including hunting and defense. These are the most visible teeth in wolves because they’re long and sharp, reaching up to 2.5 inches in length.

Wolves have four canine teeth that they use to tear through prey and kill it, which is important because wolves are carnivores. They also help in defense against other predators; wolves use their canines to defend themselves from other animals that might try to eat them or bite and hold onto prey until they can kill it.

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There are 16 premolars, which are the teeth between the canine teeth and the molar teeth and are situated on the sides of the wolf’s mouth. They help grind food while it is chewed by molars on either side of the mouth.


Wolves have ten molar teeth, six in the lower jaw and four in the upper. In order to easily swallow large pieces of meat, the molars of wolves are used to grind and slowly chew the meat. These teeth are also situated behind the premolars.

How strong is a wolf’s bite?

Wolf standing in snow
Wolf standing in snow | Image by 942784 from Pixabay

A wolf’s bite has a force of about 400 pounds per square inch (PSI). This is significantly more than a domestic dog’s bite, which exerts between 100 and 200 PSI.

The jaws of wolves have evolved over time to deliver maximum force when biting into prey animals. Their jaws have grown stronger, giving them more leverage when biting down on prey. The teeth themselves are more sharpened and powerful.

When do wolf pups develop teeth?

Wolf pup lying down and yawning
Wolf pup lying down and yawning | image by Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

A few weeks after birth, puppy wolves begin to develop their milk teeth, and between four and six months later, they begin to develop their adult teeth. The first set of teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, consists of 28 teeth that are gradually replaced by adult teeth as they wear down.

A wolf’s diet in the wild

Wolves | Image by Marcel Langthim from Pixabay

Wolf diet in the wild is primarily carnivorous, but it also includes plants and fruits when available. They mainly eat hoofed animals, small mammals, and carrion.

These amazing creatures hunt in packs of 2-15 wolves and collaborate to catch their prey. In times of food scarcity, such as the winter, they’ll also consume small birds, eggs, fruits, and berries.

How often do wolves attack humans?

Although wolves have been known to attack humans, such incidents are extremely rare. These animals are usually uninterested in humans as an enemy or prey.

Wolves will also avoid contact unless provoked. Wolves, like other animals, will only attack if they believe they’re in danger when they come into contact with another species.

What is the most effective way to defend yourself against an attacking wolf?

If you find yourself in such a rare situation, the best thing to do is to cover your face and neck. Wolves are intelligent animals that will attack an animal’s sensitive parts in order to win a fight. You can also find ways to make them back off so you can escape, such as hitting their nose or shoving your hand up their throat to make it difficult for them to bite.

Final Thoughts

Nature designed every part of an animal’s body to help it survive in the wild environment where it lives, whether it’s hunting down prey or protecting itself from being hunted. Wolf’s teeth are undoubtedly one of the best examples of this. They’re well adapted to hunting prey and can even be used to attack other animals that will harm them.

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