Our teeth are fascinating and complex. As we all know, we’re first born with baby teeth. Up until around the age of 12, all of our baby teeth fall out, being replaced by our adult teeth. Later, our wisdom teeth erupt, leaving each of us with 32 pearly whites (some of which may need to be removed!). And each tooth has its own unique shape and purpose. Our unique teeth are perfect for our varied diet. Here is the purpose of each tooth type within the human mouth, as presented by M Dental, your Mississauga source for dentistry!


Incisor teeth are the sharp, relatively small teeth that sit at the very front of the mouth; they’re smaller than canines, and they’re less conical. The average person has eight incisors, four on the top of the mouth, and four on the bottom. Incisors are ideal for biting food. Since these teeth are wedge shaped, they make quick work of food by sinking into its surface. Our incisors allow us to bite off small, manageable bits of food, thus beginning our digestive process.


Canines are prevalent in meat-eater mammal species, and humans are no exception. Canines are pointed, somewhat-conical teeth. They’re ideal for gripping chunks of food, as well as tearing off bites of food. The average human has two canines on their upper mouth, and two on their lower mouth. The canines surround the incisors.


Premolars are crucial for chewing foods. Premolars have surfaces that are far flatter than canines and incisors, and they have a small concave chewing surface at their crown. Premolars allow us to grind food and mash food. These teeth reside just behind the canine teeth within our mouths. The average person has eight premolars, four on each of both the top and bottom of the mouth.


Our molars are essentially larger, flatter premolars. These teeth are our biggest teeth. They’re effective for even further chewing and food breakup. Molars grind and crush foods until the food is ready to be swallowed. In general, food passes from the front of the mouth to the back of the mouth; thus, molars are the final stage in the chewing process. The average human has twelve molars, including wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Teeth

Our wisdom teeth are actually considered molars. Our wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually erupt latest out of all of our teeth. Often, due to a small jaw or mouth size, wisdom teeth eruption can be painful and these teeth may require extraction. Our first and second molars are usually sufficient to chew food.

Tooth Extraction at M Dental

Regardless of the tooth, we provide tooth extractions here at M Dental, your Mississauga source for dental services. If you have a weak tooth, damaged tooth, or simply don’t have room for all 32 teeth, we can help! Count on us for a comfortable experience. We provide warm, personal, comfortable dental care! Schedule an appointment with your dentist today! Or view our full list of dental services!