Do Goats Have Top Teeth? Bahhh No! (Read Why)

Most animals with teeth have both upper and lower sets of teeth. But what about goats? Do they have teeth on both the top and the bottom, even though they have teeth? You’ve undoubtedly seen the bottom teeth of goats; but not the top. In this post I’ll go over if goats have a top row of teeth. The answer is quite interesting 🙂

Goats surprisingly have no upper teeth! Only their lower jaw has teeth!

They have teeth on top of their upper jaw, but they are located inside the mouth and not visible outside. These two are just pairs of flat molar teeth. However, this unbalance does not hold them back from eating since they are voracious eaters; they chew on top of anything and everything!

Why Do Goats Not Have Upper Teeth?

Why Do Goats Not Have Upper Teeth?

Put, because they are not required! An ordinary goat diet does not require two rows of rip teeth, as they have evolved to feed well without the upper teeth. Their back teeth enable them to chew, so the absence of front top teeth belongs to these herbivores, often known as ruminants (grazing animals). 

Because goats do not consume meat, they do not require the sharp teeth that belong to carnivores. When they forage, they utilize their lower front teeth to break off roughage, except for an existing second set that belongs to teeth that are required to help them harvest grasses and other plants. 

Ruminants also have a four-chambered stomach. This implies they may regurgitate and chew their ingested food while they cud (a paste-like amount that belongs to regurgitated, partially digested food). 

This permits them to absorb many nutrients during the same time period as possible from the meal while simultaneously chewing it down to a more readily digestible pulp. 

What’s fascinating is that the lack of top incisors evolved simultaneously, showing that their early ruminant predecessors had those top teeth. Scientists believe that this evolution occurred during the same time that an existing result belonged to a combination that belonged to consuming luxuriant grasses as well as chewing cud, which rendered upper teeth unneeded. 

Furthermore, most ruminants feed and seize food with their tongues, rendering their upper incisors useless—and even harmful.

How Many Top Teeth Do Goats Have?

Goats, as you may know, lack upper incisors. The frontal part of the goat’s upper jaw is outfitted with a robust dental pad in place of the typical top front teeth. You receive 32 teeth from an adult goat. 

Let us calculate. 

A goat’s dental formula is 0/4 incisors, 3/3 premolars, and 3/3 molars. Each of these formulae’s numerators represents the number of teeth in the upper jaw. The denominator represents the number of teeth in the lower jaw. 

Given this, 0/4 in the incisors indicates that the goat’s top jaw lacks incisors while the lower jaw contains four pairs of incisors. The goat’s upper jaw (which lacks incisors) includes three pairs of molars. 

This results in a total of 0 + (3×2) + (3×2) = 12 teeth. 

That suggests the goat’s upper jaw has 12 teeth. Let us descend to the lower jaw. 

According to the formula, there are four sets of incisors, three sets of lower molars, and three sets of premolars in the lower jaw: 

(2×4) + (3×2) + (3×2) = 20 teeth. 

Add the 12 upper jaw teeth to the 20 lower jaw teeth, and you have 32 teeth in the goat’s mouth! 

How Do Goats Chew?

At the same time they graze, goats swallow their meals mostly whole, delivering them to the rumen, a vital compartment where bacteria and protozoa break down fiber. At repose, an existing goat will regurgitate the broken-down food into his mouth, combining it with saliva and eating what happens to be known during the same time that it could at this stage.

When a goat takes a bite of grass, it chews it as well as swallows it at the same time. Goats don’t have upper front teeth, so they bite with their bottom teeth and tongue. The food passes through the esophagus into the rumen, the first chamber.


Do Some Goats Have Top Teeth?

The only teeth a goat has on top of that happen to be the molars. However, the lower ones look large and strong enough to do severe damage. So, the lower teeth happen to be more than enough to belong to these herbivores to chew up their food. This applies to every one of the goats unless an existing mutation has occurred or they happen to be hybrids. 

Do Goats Loose Teeth?

Goats lose baby teeth to create room for adult teeth and teeth due to aging and wear and tear. A child’s incisors are tiny and sharp for the first year of life. These will eventually fall out and replace permanent, more prominent incisor teeth. Most goats will lose their two middle front teeth by 12 months.

Goats should have eight lower incisors by the age of three and six complete, permanent adult teeth by the time they are five. As the goat ages, those teeth grind away, spread out, and even loosen, with many dropping out altogether. Goats that consume many coarse, abrasive meals will wear their teeth down faster than goats that eat a gentler diet. By 24 months, the teeth close to those in the center will have fallen out and been replaced.

Marian Haaz
Marian is a cat adoption expert. She has rescued and adopted several cats herself and helped find homes for dozens of stray cats and dogs.
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