Digestive System > Pregastric Physiology

Dental Anatomy of Pigs

Swine are omnivores and there is probably no other animal that is quite as focused on food. Give a pig a treat (like the animal cracker in the mouth of the little pig to the right) and they'll do almost anything.

Piglets are born with "needle teeth" which are the deciduous third incisors and the canines. They project laterally from the gums and can injure the sow or other piglets so are often clipped off within hours of birth.

In boars, the canine teeth, or tusks, grow throughout the animal's life. The lower tusks are kept sharp by friction against the upper ones making them formidable weapons. Numerous tubercles make the occlusal surface of the molars irregular, ideal for crushing food.

Dental Formulae
Deciduous 3 1 3
3 1 3
= 14 Permanent 3 1 4 3
3 1 4 3
= 22
Tooth Eruption

IncisorsBirth - 2 weeks8 - 18 months
CaninesBirth8 - 12 months
Premolars2 weeks - 8 month12 - 16 months
4 - 22 months

Maxillary Arcade
Maxillary Arcade: Lateral View
Mandibular Arcade
Mandibular Arcade: Lateral View

Dental Anatomy: Index

Author: Melissa Rouge

Send comments to Richard.Bowen@colostate.edu