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Inside a deer's mouth

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Have you ever wondered ...

In this post, we're literally going to take a close look (on some high quality pictures) into fallow deer's mouth.

But first, some facts. Skip to the pictures if not interested.

A deer's mouth has two sections. The front section, which contains canine and incisor teeth, is used for grabbing and breaking food.

Deer do not have any top front teeth but only a rough palate (a bony pad). Such combination helps the animals rip food out of the ground or off of plants. Deer do have molars in the back that they use to chew up their food before swallowing it and to chew cud.

Adult fallow deer have 30 teeth, and white-tailed ones have 32. Deer will have 'milk teeth' before their permanent set. Fawns typically have only 3 or 4 fully erupted teeth along each side of the jaw.

Some additional information on deer teeth eruption, wear with age etc can be found here extension.missouri.edu

And now the deer mouth pictorial.


Don't be triggered, you've been warned!


deer wide open mouth

deer lower teeth

Nice set of lower teeth, you can see the enamel top layer is a bit transluscent. No plaque. That's what a carrot a day does. Keep's vet dentist away.

Next. Well, this one got on the carrot program a bit later in her life, she's more into nice, soft bread.

fallow deer mouth anatomy

But she regrets nothing!

deer tongue outThere's the 🦌 tongue, btw.

That's basics of deer mouth anatomy covered. 

But wait! There's more!

Another view. Deer mouth from the side:

deer mouth from side

and a front view again:

open deer mouth

and a funny view, with tongue hanging on the side

deer tongue hanging out

...don't worry, Bluetooth is all right, she's just chewing a carrot. Same as in the next picture:

funny deer tongue out

Seeing how there's no upper teeth, you might be wondering, does it even hurt if the deer bites you? Do deer bite? 

A fallow deer may not be able to bite your finger off (haven't tried to provoke them, though), but an excited deer being hand-fed will sometimes reach and grab to eagerly and when those bottom teeth scratch your hands you do feel it! It's not bad, but unpleasant. Kids should definitely not 'try this at home'.

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