Goldfish Teeth

You don’t see them.  You can’t feel them.  To all appearances, goldfish are quite toothless.  So do goldfish really have teeth?

Yes, they do.  While small and impossible to see under normal circumstances and you’ll never feel your finger being chomped on like a piranha, goldfish have teeth and use them to grind up their food before they digest it like you and me.  The aren’t spiky like shark teeth, but are rather flat and are located in the back of their throats rather than directly inside their mouths.  These kinds are called pharyngeal teeth.

When chewing, the goldfish make distinct clicking sounds.  You can hear it if the filters are off, its very quiet in the room and your ear is close to the glass of the tank.  The crunchier the food, the easier it is to hear it in my experience.  It sounds like a high pitched, resounding crunch that echoes off the glass.  Betta fish also make this sound as they eat.

Did you know that goldfish actually lose their teeth?  It’s true – their teeth are always growing and falling out to be readily replaced by new teeth.  They don’t eat them when this happens – the old ones then land at the bottom of the tank, either to fall in between the rocks or land on the sand or the glass in a bare-bottom tank.  The larger the goldfish, the larger the tooth, so the teeth of older fish will be easier to spot.  You can even collect them if you happen to see them lying around.  This video shows one goldfish owner’s collection of her fish’s teeth!  Who knew?

The fact that goldfish have teeth is just one more way that goldfish are such fascinating pets.  You will always be learning more about them!



  1. Tammy Virgilito September 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    I have a black moor that we have had for 3.5 years we have noticed the last few days that he isn’t swimming around correctly. He has been mainly floating either head down from the top or on his side on the top of the aquarium. All of our levels are fine and we have another black moor in the tank and a fancy goldfish. The other gold fish seem fine. The problem is the black moor. I took a better look at him today and it appear one of his giills inside is very red and appears open. The other gill seems more closed and can’t tell if it is red, but I don’t think so. When I feed the fish he tries to go get some food and he swims a little upside down or head down, but them he floats back to the top. At first I thought I though he had swim bladder now I’m not so sure since I have seen the really red gill that appears open. Also in case you are wondering the other fish have been in the tank for 3.5 years too! Should I get Melafix or something else? I would love to treat with fish mox or something like that, but I don’t have any and it would take too long to order! Also, will Melafix or whatever you say I should get will it affect the other fish medicine wise? I don’t have a hospital tank right now to stick the others in so I’m hoping to just treat the tank in general! I wish we had actual fish doctors in town, I would take my fish in! Please respond soon it is 09/04/2015 today! You can respond to my email too which is Thank you for your help!

    • Pure Goldfish September 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      Hey Tammy, sorry to hear that about your fish. This question is best suited for our health concerns forum (which is free to all). Mind posting it there? I’d love to help out =)

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