Corn Snake Teeth

Corn Snake Teeth: Do They Bite And Does It Hurt?

All snakes have teeth, whether they are venomous or not. Corn snakes are no exception. Knowing about corn snake teeth is important when you are thinking about getting one for yourself. Do corn snakes bite? Well, they might, under certain circumstances.

Corn snakes are known to be one of the gentlest creatures on earth. They rarely bite and are easily manageable. For decades, they have been crossbred and inbred for generating certain colors and patterns that make corn snakes simply irresistible as pets. In this article, you can read more about the kind of teeth that corn snakes have and how it fits their lifestyle.

Corn Snake Teeth: What Do They Look Like?

Corn Snake Teeth Visual Appearance

Corn snakes look lovely with their golden coloration and are cherished by all for their docile nature. There are around 800 morphs of corn snakes that look exquisite with their phenomenal colors and patterns. There are even scaleless versions available. As they are so gentle natured, some people find it hard to believe that corn snakes have teeth.

Snakes intimidate people, broadly speaking. Many envision a snake with a large gaping mouth with fangs dripping saliva, wriggling and hissing at them. But all snakes are not King Cobras, so we can relax and have a sigh of relief. There are harmless non-venomous snakes like corn snakes, milk snakes, king snakes and even pythons!

So what do corn snake teeth look like? There are 20 to 30 aglyphous teeth distributed unevenly on their upper and lower jaw. There are 4 rows at the upper jaw, and 2 rows on the lower jaw. And, no, they do not have fangs, so do not worry about getting bitten. The aglyphous detention consists of tiny, but sharp and pointed teeth, that can cause a scratch at its maximum capacity.

The teeth look like uneven barbs and are slightly angular– bent backwards (pointing toward the mouth) at the bottom. Pythons and milk snakes have similar kinds of dentition. There are no grooves present within aglyphous teeth, and the teeth themselves are not connected to any venom sac to channel venom. Corn snakes can make a huge gape owing to the ligaments that attach the two parts of their lower jaw together.

Corn Snake Teeth: Do They Have Fangs?

Corn Snake Fangs

Corn snakes do not have fangs or large pointed teeth. Corn snakes are often compared to the venomous coral snakes and copperheads, and these two snakes have fangs for sure. It is because of this similarity that many people think that corn snakes have fangs too, but that is an absolute myth. There is simply no reason to be unnecessarily scared of corn snakes.

Copperhead snakes have two, medium-sized fangs on their upper jaw that are easily visible when they hiss and open their mouth wide. They are connected to the venom sacs and act as hollow needles, channeling venom via the grooves present within the teeth. Coral snakes have similar kinds of fangs, one on each extreme end of their upper jaw.

Corn Snake Teeth: What Do They Use Them For?

Corn snakes use their small, aglyphous teeth to mainly latch onto their prey, and chew on their skin to get a firm grip of them so that they cannot escape. They may use these teeth as a pro- tection against predators as well. Their predators include mainly foxes, hyenas, owls, hawks, raccoons, and even cats and dogs.

After grasping their prey, like a mouse or a rat, they start making coils around their prey’s body and applying increasing pressure. This agonizing pressure suffocates the prey to fatality. Some people think that corn snakes use their teeth to chew their food. However, that’s not true. Snakes do not chew food like mammals. They swallow their food in one piece. The swallowing process takes about 30 minutes to one hour, or even longer depending on the size of the food.

Do Corn Snakes Bite: Are Their Bites Poisonous?

Corn Snake Bite

Corn snakes seldom ever bite. When they feel threatened, their first response is usually to seek cover, rattle their tail-end, or hiss. They warn before their final strike. There are certain times when corn snakes are most likely to hiss or bite.

Stress is one of the biggest reasons why they may strike. If handling sessions are way too long or forced, or if the tank in which you keep your corn snake is placed where children or other animals move around a lot, snakes get stressed.

Another time when you simply should leave the corn snakes alone is when they are molting or during winter brumation. During these times, all they look for is to relax while their old skin wears off, leaving the new skin behind. If they do not molt properly, they may acquire skin infec- tion or even blindness. Sudden movement or loud noise may also startle the snake and make it bite you.

Are corn snake bites poisonous? Since they are not venomous, their bites are not poisonous either. Their bites do not hurt that much either. You may compare a corn snake’s bite to a cat’s bite or a scratch. If they chew on your skin for long, they may draw blood. A simple first aid kit will help you a lot in this case. In cases of infection, you may consult a doctor.

What To Do If A Corn Snake Bites Me?

Though corn snakes are not venomous, their mouths do contain bacteria. Therefore, if you have been bitten by one, do not just leave the wound unattended. Follow the steps listed below.

  • Do not panic: Do not push or pull your hands, because this may make the teeth of the snake dig deeper into your skin. Do not try to pull the head or tail of the corn snake. If you calm down, maybe your snake will too, and might just let you go
  • Detach gently: If the snake does not detach by itself, drip a few drops of cold water or alcohol on the snake’s head. It should let you go then.
  • Wash the wound: Wash the bitten area with cold water and then with alcohol. Pat the area dry, then place a band-aid on it. If the wound is big, you may consult a doctor.


Corn snake teeth are tiny and harmless. But if corn snakes still intimidate you, you should know more about them before adopting one.

Q: What to do to prevent bites during feeding?

Ans: Always wash your hands before or after feeding a corn snake. It is always better and safer to use tweezers or tongs to serve food, instead of bare hands. As mentioned previously, refrain from feeding your corn snake when it is stressed or molting.

Q: How do I know if a corn snake is about to bite?

Ans: Your corn snake will hiss, coil in a corner and jump suddenly, or may shake its tail before taking the decision to bite you.

Q: Is it safe to hold a corn snake?

Ans: Yes, it is completely safe to handle one. However, try not to poke or prod it too much. Hold the snake with both your hands at two separate points of its body. One hand could be just below its neck, while the other could be underneath its belly, and keep alternating the position of your hands, letting the corn snake slide.


Knowing about corn snake teeth is useful when you are considering getting one to take care of. Corn snakes do not have fangs as many presume. They have small teeth that are slightly pointed, and it does not hurt much when they bite. They are beautiful creatures with pheno- menal colors and patterns. If you are a reptile lover, don’t hesitate to get one of your own.

Hi dear readers! This is Rebecca, the lead analyst and blog writer for Snake Insider. Following in the footsteps of David’s guided path, I feel highly encouraged to make the most interesting snake-facts to a mass audience! In due time, I believe we’ll be able to present some jaw-dropping insight on snakes that’s sure to leave you begging for more! Personally, I’m a strongly motivated person to explore the most extreme environments should my work demand it. In many cases, I’ve ventured deep into territories that were never considered certain snake habitats and brought back necessary information. Rest assured I’ll surely be sharing them with you over the course of time.

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