How Many Teeth Do Sharks Have?

Say cheeeeese! That’s what you might say if you are planning to take an underwater selfie with the giant and stunning creature of the oceanic world – The Shark! It’s because they have very nice and shiny teeth after all, their smiles make them highly photogenic, Right!

Do you want to take a selfie with the famous celebrity of the ocean? What! No! Why? Ooopppsss… those sparkly but sharp razor teeth… Got you! Have you ever wondered – why sharks have so many teeth? Well, as you already know that there are many many different species of sharks living in the ocean and seas, the number of teeth varies from species to species because it depends upon the type of sharks! Let’s sink your teeth and read on to find out more about shark teeth!

How Many Teeth do Sharks Hhave?

One thing related to sharks that mesmerizes everyone is their powerful, massive and gigantic teeth. On an average, sharks have 50 to 300 teeth at one time, the number of teeth varies from species to species. Throughout their lives, sharks typically have 20,000 to 35,000 or may be up to 50,000 teeth.

Why do sharks have so many teeth?

Sharks are capable of shedding their teeth, they lose from 1 to 40 teeth per week, this is because the teeth of sharks are without roots and are not as strong as the teeth of mammals. They lose their teeth easily and are also capable of replacing them immediately. Since sharks have an average life span of 20 to 30 years, during their life they will replace their teeth many times.

Why do sharks drop their teeth?

Well, sharks on an average have 50 to 300 teeth during various phases of life, depending upon the type of shark’s species. Interesting! The teeth of sharks are not strong and sturdy just like yours, so they can easily fall out. Sharks teeth are without roots, they shed teeth frequently that’s why they keep on losing and replacing them throughout their lifetime. Some shark’s teeth have a life span of one week or one month then the gate is replaced by the new one.

How many types of teeth do sharks have?

The distinctive shaped shark’s teeth can be divided into 4 basic sets, the type of shark’s teeth is based on their diet and feeding habitat:

  1. Dense flattened teeth
  2. Pointed lower with triangular shaped upper teeth
  3. Long needle like teeth
  4. Tiny non-functional teeth

1: Dense flattened teeth

Some species of sharks have dense flattened teeth that are used in grinding and crushing the shell of the prey including scallops, oysters, mussels, and crustaceans like lobsters, snails and crabs. Species like Nurse and Angel sharks possess dense flattened teeth, as they species reside at the floor of the ocean to find their foodstuff.

2: Pointed lower with triangular shaped upper teeth

The most deadly sharks among all the sharks’ species – The Great White Shark have this horrible type of teeth with pointed edges which helps the sharks to tear up its prey into small bits such as large fishes and mammals. They also have an incredible biting force.

3: Long needle like teeth

The needle-like teeth are not common in all species of sharks. The sharks like Bull sharks and Blue sharks are blessed with needle like teeth, they were capable of catching the prey with slippery skin with these teeth such as squids, flounders, stingrays, small fishes and sharks.

4: Tiny non-functional teeth

The species of sharks which feed mostly on planktons have non-functional teeth such as the giant predator of the ocean Whale sharks and Basking sharks. These sharks are actually filter feeders so they do not need functional teeth to capture the prey in fact they swallow their food instead of chewing it.

Is it hard to find shark’s teeth?

No! Not at all! With the existing population of sharks in the ocean, hunting shark’s teeth continues to be a popular activity among people. Hundreds and thousands of shark teeth are found along the shores of beaches. So there are many chances that you could find shark’s teeth wherever you visit beaches but to find a freshly lost shark’s tooth is quite rare!

Final words As sharks are the apex predator of the ocean, their teeth are very significant in this regard. The number of shark’s teeth varies from species to species but on an average sharks have 50 to 300 teeth at one time and have around 50,000;teeth throughout their lifespan. They will continue to shed their teeth and replace it with new one.  Since sharks lose their teeth, it’s not very tough to find them along the beach shorelines. If you are curious to know more about shark’s teeth, why don’t you be their dentist!

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.