How Many Teeth Do a Human Have

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How many teeth do a human have, and do all of us have the exact same number of teeth?

We are all aware that humans are unique in many ways, but few are aware that one of our distinguishing features is the number of teeth we have in our mouths. While there is an average number of teeth, this varies depending on age, health, genetics, and other factors such as injury and disease.

In this article we’ll talk about the average number of teeth an adult has, when the different kinds of teeth grow in, and the factors that might cause someone to have more or less than the standard number of teeth.

This is the average number of teeth adults have

All of the teeth we will ever have are already embedded within our jaws when we are born, waiting to erupt when the time is right.

On average, we each have 52 teeth in total. Out of these, 20 are the baby teeth that erupt when we are about six months old, and the remaining 32 are permanent teeth that erupt around the start of puberty.

Baby teeth

When a baby is approximately six months old, his or her baby teeth, also known as milk teeth, primary teeth, or deciduous teeth, begin to push up through the gums. The teething process can happen several months sooner or later than the six month mark, so don’t worry if your toddler is a little late or early.

The baby teeth are usually fully erupted by the time the little one is 2 to 3 years old.

Adult teeth

None of us get our permanent teeth before we reach puberty. When a child is between the ages of 12 and 14, permanent teeth begin to appear.

Here’s an overview over all of the teeth an adult has on average:


The average adult has eight incisors. There are four on top and four on the bottom of the mouth.

The incisors are rather sharp, pointed teeth that are used to bite, grab, tear and cut through food. The incisors also serves the added function of helping you detect the texture and type of food in your mouth.

If you look at predator animals, you’ll their pronounced incisors. We humans have much less prominent pairs, but even though we are not traditional predators, our incisors are still significantly sharper than the rest of our teeth.

Canines or cuspids

Most adults have four canines, also known as cuspids, located on the top and bottom of the mouth and used to hold, tear, and bite into the food you’re eating.

Cuspids are canines because their paws have cusp-like formations that allow them to easily grab and tear food.

Premolars or biscuspids

A typical adult also has eight premolars, also known as bicuspids. There are four on top and four on bottom of the mouth and they are located directly between the cuspids and molars.

Premolars look similar to molars, but each has two cusps that make them excellent tools for cutting and grinding food into smaller pieces.


We’re each equalled with a total of 12 molars; six on top and six on the bottom. Molars, like premolars, are located at the back of the mouth and are ideal for grinding and crushing any kind of food to prepare it for digestion.

However, unlike premolars, molars lack cusps and are much flatter on the top. This feature is what allows us to use them to grind food.

Our initial eight molars erupt when we are in our early teens, while the final four wisdom teeth don’t make their appearance for another decade or longer.

Wisdom teeth

At the very backs of our mouths, four wisdom teeth erupt when we are in our late teens or early twenties. For some, they can erupt even later than that.

Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to develop, and they are larger and have deeper roots than the rest of our teeth.

It can sometimes be necessary to get one or more of your wisdom teeth removed, as the jaw doesn’t always have enough space to accommodate them. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth,

Unusual teeth

Natal teeth

Most babies are born toothless and do not begin teething until they are six months old. However, some babies are born with teeth, which are known as natal teeth.

Despite the fact that natal teeth are uncommon, they are rarely dangerous.

Supernumerary teeth

Most babies are born toothless and do not begin teething until they are six months old. However, some babies are born with teeth, which are known as natal teeth.

Despite the fact that natal teeth are uncommon, they are rarely dangerous.

Preventing tooth loss

While there is nothing you can do to control or prevent genetic factors that may predispose you to have more or fewer teeth than the standard 32, there is a lot you can do to avoid tooth loss caused by disease or accident. Here are some pointers to help you care for your teeth and keep them healthy for the rest of your life.

Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene and health are vastly undervalued. This is also true for keeping your entire set of teeth.

The majority of oral health problems that can lead to tooth loss, such as periodontal disease or severe tooth infections, are caused by a lack of dental hygiene.

If you brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, you are already well underway to protecting your enamel and keeping your teeth strong and free of dental caries. When brushing your teeth, don’t be tempted to rush. Brushing for a fully two minutes every time is important, as is flossing with dental floss once a day to remove the food particles and caries that can otherwise embed itself between the teeth, or between the teeth and the gums.

Wear a mouthguard

A mouth guard is the simplest and most effective way to avoid impact injuries and reduce wear and damage caused by nighttime tooth grinding.

Of course, you cannot wear a mouthguard all of the time, but if you play a contact sport or know that you have a habit of grinding your teeth in your sleep, wearing a mouthguard in these circumstances can drastically lower your chances of tooth loss and sustaining damage to your teeth.

Conclusion: This is how many teeth humans have

In summary, most adults have 32 teeth when all of their teeth have fully erupted. This, of course, does not take into consideration the fact that some may loose teeth either due to periodontal disease, impact accidents, or other factors such as having the wisdom teeth removed.

Unlike hair or nails, you cannot grow more teeth beyond the ones that are already embedded in your jawbone at birth. This is why taking great care of your teeth is so important. Not only is practicing good oral hygiene important for general dental health, it is also the best way to maintain the number of teeth you have for as long as possible. Although dentures and implants have come along way, there is nothing that can replace real, healthy teeth.

Frequently asked questions

Do humans have 32 or 36 teeth?

A typical adult has 32 teeth. Some people, however, have fewer teeth than others.

Does everyone get 32 teeth?

There are no set number of teeth. Although 32 teeth is the most common number for an adult, more or fewer teeth are possible.

How many teeth do a 14 year old have?

By the age of 14, most teenagers have 28 teeth, as all of their adult teeth have grown in except the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the last to erupt and grow out, usually in late adolescence or early adolescence.

Do we have 28 teeth?

Although some people have only 28 teeth, the majority of adults have a few more. Although there is no ‘correct’ number of teeth for an adult, 32 is the average for fully developed adults.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.