Does The Lizard Have Teeth | Types & Life Cycle

Does the lizard have teeth? Lizards do indeed have teeth, although the type and number of teeth vary from species to species.

Most lizards have rows of small, sharp, conical, or slightly curved teeth in both their upper and lower jaws, which helps them bite and tear food into smaller pieces. 

Some skink lizards even have enlarged side-facing incisors, which can be used to scrape at prey or clean their eyes. Lizards also have a secondary set of teeth called “secondary dentition” in the back of their jaws, which comprises smaller, more flattened, and irregularly shaped teeth that help them grind food. 

While lizard teeth are not as strong as those of mammals, they are still essential for helping lizards find and eat food.

Does The Lizard Have Teeth | Types, Life Cycle & Adaptations

Types Of Teeth In Lizard


Incisors: Incisors are the frontmost teeth in a lizard’s mouth, which may be used to grab prey or groom themselves.

Canines: Canines are often found in carnivorous lizards and can help them tear apart their food.

Premolars: Larger lizards may have premolar teeth located between their canine and molar teeth; these may be used for crushing tougher pieces of food.

Molars: The back molars of a lizard are generally flat and broad, which is perfect for grinding up tough pieces of food.

Acrodont Teeth: lizard’s Acrodont teeth, which are fused to the jawbones of certain lizards, are good for gripping onto prey.

Pleurodont Teeth: lizard’s Pleurodont teeth are often found in herbivorous lizards and are adapted for slicing through softened plant material.

In general, lizards do not use their teeth for biting during defensive behavior like some other animals might; instead, they rely on their speed and agility to escape from predators. However, they do use their teeth for eating and grooming. The shape of their teeth is adapted specifically to help them with these activities.

What Do Lizard Teeth Look Like?

Depending on the species, lizard teeth range in shape, size, and number. In general, lizards have small sharp teeth that are conical or slightly curved. The front incisors may be enlarged, while the back molars are often flat and broad. 

Certain lizards also possess fused acrodont or pleurodont teeth, which help them grip onto prey or slice through plant material.

The Life Cycle Of Lizard Teeth

1. Tooth Replacement:

Just like other animals, lizards go through a process of tooth replacement throughout their lifetime. But Bearded Dragons not through a process of tooth replacement lifetime. As the teeth wear down, new ones will replace them to maintain the necessary shape and size for eating and grooming.

2. Age Determines Tooth Structure:

The type of teeth a lizard has is often determined by its age or diet; for example, herbivorous lizards generally have more pleurodont teeth than carnivorous lizards.

3. Wear And Tear:

Since lizards use their teeth to grind up food during digestion, they are prone to wearing down over time due to the constant friction with the grinding surfaces in their mouths. This can be seen as chipped or broken teeth, which new ones can replace.

Overall, lizards have a wide variety of teeth, depending on their species and diet, which are adapted to help them with eating and grooming. 

They also go through tooth replacement throughout their lifetime to maintain the necessary shape and size for these activities. Although they don’t use their teeth to bite during defensive behavior, they still rely heavily upon them while hunting and eating prey. To conclude, lizards have teeth!

Adaptations With Time In Lizard’s Teeth

1. Tooth Replacement:

Over time, lizards have evolved to replace their teeth more often as they wear them down from eating and grooming. This helps them maintain the necessary shape and size for these activities.

2. Dental Structure:

Lizards’ teeth have adapted to improve the efficiency of their hunting and eating habits; for example, carnivorous lizards tend to have sharper canines than herbivores to tear apart better prey.

3. Variety Of Teeth Types:

Different species of lizards have different types of teeth depending on their diet; thus, herbivorous lizards may have pleurodont teeth, while carnivorous ones might possess stronger canines or incisors.

4. Specialization: 

Lizards’ teeth are adapted to be specialized depending on their diet; for instance, herbivorous lizards tend to have broad and flat molars better suited for grinding plant material.

5. Fracture Resistance:

Over time, lizards’ teeth have become more resistant to fracturing due to the constant wear and tear from eating and grooming activities. Thus, new teeth can replace the old ones more quickly to preserve functionality.

In conclusion, lizards have evolved many adaptations to their teeth over time to help them hunt and eat more efficiently.

Reptile Teeth Vs. Mammal Teeth 

Tooth Structure:

The structure of reptile teeth differs greatly from mammal teeth’ structure. Reptiles typically have conical or curved incisors and molars that are often flat and broad, while mammals usually have longer canine teeth and flat grinding surfaces.

Number Of Teeth:

Mammals typically have more teeth than reptiles, with some species having up to 44. On the other hand, Snakes typically only have around 28-30 teeth.

Tooth Replacement:

Unlike mammals, lizards and most other reptiles only replace their teeth once during their lifetime; thus, they may develop some wear and tear on their teeth over time. Mammals, however, have several teeth that can be replaced multiple times.

Tooth Shape:

Mammal teeth are often much sharper than reptile teeth due to their pointed incisors and long canines; this helps them grip or cut through their prey. Reptile teeth, on the other hand, are typically very blunt and are better suited for grinding up food rather than tearing it apart.


Can A Lizard Bite You?

No, lizards do not have the teeth necessary to bite humans. However, some species of lizards may perform defensive behavior such as tail whipping or grinding if they feel threatened.

Do Lizards Have Fangs?

No, most lizards do not possess fangs and instead rely on their sharp incisors or pleurodont teeth for hunting and eating prey. However, some species of lizards may have enlarged front incisors that could be considered fangs.

How Many Teeth Does A Lizard Have?

It depends on the lizard species; generally, lizards have between 4 to 8 upper teeth and 4 to 5 lower teeth. However, some species may have more or less depending on their diet.

Do All Lizards Have Sharp Teeth?

No, not all lizards have sharp teeth. Herbivorous lizards tend to have blunt pleurodont teeth for grinding plant material, while carnivores may possess more sensitive canines or incisors for tearing apart prey.

Do All Reptiles Have Teeth?

No, not all reptiles have teeth. Turtles and tortoises are two species that do not possess teeth, instead relying on a hard beak-like structure for eating.

Are House Lizards Friendly?

Yes, house lizards are generally harmless and may even reduce the population of harmful insects in your home. They are usually not aggressive towards humans but can become defensive if threatened.


Yes, lizards have teeth, although the structure and appearance of these teeth can vary depending on the species. Generally speaking, lizards possess conical or curved incisors and often flat and broad molars.