Do Goldfish Have Teeth? Will They Bite You

Goldfish are one of the most active and peaceful members of the aquarium. The mouth formation of goldfish is quite different from most other fish species.

Goldfish do have teeth. But unlike humans and most other animals, the teeth are not located on the gum in the mouth. They are located far back in the throat around the pharynx section; hence, it is called pharyngeal teeth. 

Do Goldfish Have Teeth

This means that if you hope to see goldfish’s teeth, you might be disappointed until you look down into their throat.

Do Goldfish Have Sharp Teeth?

Goldfish have teeth that are located around their throat region. These teeth are not sharp, and there are limitations to what they can be used to do. Goldfish teeth are flat and look more like the molar in humans.

However, their teeth are sharp enough to enhance their feeding. They can use it to easily grind and crush food before sending it down their throat.

Do All Fish Have Teeth?

All fish have teeth. The only disparity is the type of teeth possessed by each type of fish. The teeth come in various sizes, shapes, and distribution around the mouth.  Goldfish and some other types of swimmers like loaches, minnows, and carp hide their teeth at the back of their mouths, around their throat (pharyngeal teeth).

Like the chimera and lungfish, some fish types have teeth that are modified into broad enamel plates. These modified teeth have jagged ridges helpful for grinding and crushing food.

Aggressive fish species like betta and tetra have longer and sharper teeth than most other fish of similar size. Another significant example is the sheepshead. Sheepsheads have flattened human-like teeth and extremely powerful jaws that are useful in crushing their prey.

Can A Goldfish Bite You? 

Yes, goldfish can bite you. They can use their pharyngeal teeth to nibble you when they wrap their mouth around your fingers or other parts of your body exposed to them.

Most people are often surprised when they hear that goldfish can bite and nibble humans. However, it is nothing much to worry about because you won’t feel much pain if goldfish bite you. After all, goldfish do not bite as most other fish do.

Goldfish’s teeth are not sharp enough to cause severe pain when they bite you. In fact, you might have to dip your hand down the throat of goldfish before you come in contact with their teeth.

Will It Hurt If A Goldfish Bites You? 

Many aquarists become worried about their goldfish the moment they learned that this fish species could bite. It is essential to note the goldfish’s bite will not hurt you or cause severe pain.

Firstly, their teeth are not located in the outer part of their mouth; it is somewhere behind their throat, around the pharynx. You would have to stick your finger down their throat before you can feel the hardness of their teeth.

Nevertheless, their teeth are not sharp enough to hurt you badly. Their teeth are more like the molar in humans with a flattened top. If they bite your finger, they would most likely be sucking on it with a little bit of nibbling.  So, don’t worry about goldfish biting you because it won’t hurt you at all.

Do Goldfish Bite Other Fish?

Goldfish are generally peaceful. Only a few of these fish species are outgoing; others are shy and relaxed. They tend to stand back in the tank without causing any form of trouble. Consequently, it is not normal for goldfish to bite other fish. They are too timid to attack other fish on a good day.

However, you might find them developing some aggressiveness at some points. It is only during this period that you might find them biting other fish in the tank. Goldfish won’t become aggressive for no reason.

If goldfish are aggressive in the tank, there must be a reason, and you need to find out why. Goldfish can become aggressive and bite other fish when;

  • They are hungry, sick, mating, don’t have enough space, or face competition during feeding.
  • They are protecting themselves from being bullied.
  • There is a new fish in the tank.
  • The tank condition is poor.

What To Do If Your Goldfish Is Biting Other Fish?

When you find your goldfish biting other fish, the first step to take is to determine the reason for the aggressiveness. The knowledge about what’s wrong will guide you on the next steps to take. Watch out for the signs and figure out where to intervene.

You can start by making the tank comfortable for them and create enough space. Decongest the tank in a case where it is overcrowded. Feed your goldfish properly and create a conducive environment during the mating period.  Quarantine and isolate any sick fish from the rest of the tank members. Avoid keeping them with bullying tank members and fish that can fit into their mouths.

Do Goldfish Lose Their Teeth?

Goldfish, like many other fish species, lose their teeth as they grow. However, they grow new ones rapidly after losing the existing ones. New teeth grow right behind the old ones as they fall off.

The old teeth fall out of their mouth completely. You might find them when you are cleaning the tank. Ensure that you pick it out and get rid of them appropriately.

Do Goldfish Chew Their Food?

Yes, goldfish chew their food before sending it down their throat. Although the chewing does not occur in the mouth, it occurs in the pharynx where their teeth are located.

You can notice the chewing of goldfish because they make a distinct sound. They make use of the teeth to grind up their food to aid easy digestion.


Goldfish have flattened teeth like the molar of humans. These teeth are sharp enough to help the fish grind up their food for easy digestion. However, goldfish teeth are not sharp enough to hurt you if they bite you.  Goldfish will not bite other fish except something is wrong. They will lose their teeth as they grow and generate new ones.