Do Carp Have Teeth? [Here is The Answer + Facts]

Do Carp Have Teeth

Carp is a fish that is exciting to catch, tasty to eat and widely spread across the world.

Anglers love it and even those who are not involved into fishing have heard about it.

There are many questions about carp, and it is important for people to get the right information, instead of common misconceptions.

One of those questions is: Do carp have teeth?

The answer is YES, carp do have teeth, but not quite the ones you would imagine. Their teeth are called pharyngeal teeth, and they are located deep in the throat. All carp species have teeth like that, and those are used to process the food by grinding it.

If you want to know more about carp teeth, read the following chapters:

Do Carp Have Teeth? [What Kind?]
So, How do Carp Eat?
Can a Carp Bite my Finger Off?
Interesting Facts About Carp Feeding Behavior



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Do Carp Have Teeth? [What Kind?]

As already mentioned, carp has pharyngeal teeth.

These teeth are not visible at first glance and when you look into the carp’s mouth, you will not notice them immediately.

In the front area of the mouth, behind the lips, there is no “normal” teeth.

Pharyngeal teeth are used to grind and crush food.

Fish having these teeth do not have the ability to bite off a part of their food. Carp has to find food which can fit into the mouth whole.

These teeth are not sharp and their number can vary.

Because these teeth are not visible, a lot of beginner anglers think that carp don’t have teeth at all.

Pharyngeal teeth can grow back if they fall out.

So, How do Carp Eat?

Carp are omnivores which means that they consume both plants and animals.

Because they lack teeth in the front part of their mouths, they have to suck the food in.

They feed in different water layers, including the bottom. All carp species feed in the same way.

Eating plants is easy, but how do they eat crayfish, boilies or similar food, which is hard from the outside?

They suck the prey into their mouth and when it reaches the point when the teeth are, they start “chewing”.

Carp move their jaws and grind the food in a rotary motion. Shells get crushed and the carp gets the soft, inside, part of the prey.

Hard shells are turned into tiny pieces and those too can be digested, with the rest of the prey.

If there are some larger leftovers from shells, carp can spit them out.

Carp teeth are round and a flat when compared to our teeth, but with enough pressure they can grind food very efficiently.

In case you are wondering what exactly carp likes to eat, here is a short list of some of the most commonly consumed food:

• crayfish
• mussels
• tiny fish
• zooplankton
• all kinds of aquatic plants

When it comes to carp bait, there are multiple options, such as bread, boilies or corn.

Can a Carp Bite my Finger Off?

Do carp have teeth is usually the first question asked about these fish ...

And the other one is can a carp bite my finger off?

The answer is NO, it can’t!

First of all, carp’s teeth are located deep in the throat, and it is quite unlikely that your finger will end up there.

Secondly, carp’s teeth are not sharp at all.

If you are an angler, you probably know that carp gets hooked through the lip in most cases, and as already mentioned, carp has no teeth behind the lips.

Even if you somehow managed to insert your finger into the carp’s throat, these dull teeth couldn't bite it off.

If your finger ends up in the carp’s throat, you could end up with a sore finger.

Carp can bite it and because teeth are dull, but very strong, it will hurt. A bit of bleeding can occur too, but these injuries are not dangerous.

Another common question is can a carp bite the fishing line?

As already said, carp usually gets hooked through the lip ...

There have been cases where carp swallowed the hook end it ended up in a throat. In some of those cases, carp was able to bite it off.

It happens extremely rare, and don't worry, carp can’t do the same to your finger.

Using a bit shorter hooklinks can prevent this from happening.

Interesting Facts About Carp Feeding Behavior

Here are a few interesting facts:

Carp have barbels which are used to sense and taste the food on the bottom, which is out of sight.

They mostly feed on the bottom, although they can eat in other water layers.

• They are very cautious, and have excellent sight, also used to find food.

They spit out more than 90% of materials they suck in, after they taste it.

• Carp pectoral and pelvic fin are also tools for finding food.

They can sense nutrients like sugars and proteins dissolved in water, which is a great news for anglers.


Now you know do carp have teeth or not.

Pharyngeal teeth are common in the fish world, and other species, like goldfish, and other suckers and cyprinids have them.

These teeth are very important for carp, and help the fish to grind hard food, however they are completely harmless for people, and they can’t hurt you.

Fishing for carp is great, and you don’t have to be afraid you will lose a finger.

Always handle the carp gently, especially if you practice catch and release. Be mindful, because you are far more dangerous for carp than carp is for you.

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