Perhaps, at some point, you have noticed that your cat has bad breath, eats with difficulty or even has bleeding gums …
But are you really familiar with what is going on with your teeth?
The inside of a cat’s mouth is a mystery to many pet owners, how often do you take a look there?
Keeping your cat’s dental hygiene up to date is key to maintaining their overall health and well-being. When it comes to health matters, prevention is best, so read on to start your feline dental education.
The teeth of cats
Kittens do not need teeth for the first few weeks while they are nursing.
A baby kitten’s teeth come in between 2 and 6 weeks of age . These first teeth are called baby teeth. The teeth come out from below the gum line. The 12 incisors (small teeth at the top and bottom of the mouth) are the first to appear, followed by 4 canine teeth (the fangs) and the 10 premolars (the teeth just behind the canines).
A kitten has 26 baby teeth . These temporary cat teeth begin to fall out around 11 weeks of age.
During this time, you may find tiny teeth on the floor or in your kitten’s food bowl, although the kitten will swallow them on occasion. You may also see some bleeding from your mouth. This is all normal.
It can happen that a cat’s milk teeth do not fall out as they are supposed to.
This situation is called “retained deciduous teeth . ” These teeth can cause damage to the protruding perms, which may require removal.
At what age do cats change teeth?
A cat’s final teeth come in between 4 and 6 months of age . The incisors come in first, followed by the canine, premolar, and molar teeth. Added to the 26 that he had from milk, the 4 molar teeth that are more resistant than the premolars are also born. In total, there are 30 teeth of adult cats.
Why do cats’ teeth fall out?
In addition to the loss of milk teeth, a normal situation, there are other causes to explain the loss of teeth in cats:
The age of the cat
One of the reasons why cats lose their teeth is their age. This begins to occur when they are 10 years old or older. The signs are not visible if this happens. Older cats tend to have a normal routine, such as eating regularly, and do not show any health problems.
When cats have a birthday, their gums weaken and these are responsible for keeping their teeth in place and preventing them from falling out.
Cat dental problems
Periodontal disease or gum disease : Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that come from plaque. Food accumulates around the teeth and gums, which together with bacteria, form plaque, which in turn turns into tartar. The gums become sensitive and develop pockets of infection. Finally, the teeth fall out.
Gingivitis: commonly known as inflammation of the gums . Signs of tooth pain, foul odor, excessive licking, inability to close the cat’s mouth, pain during feeding, bleeding gums, swelling and redness may arise. Teeth cleaning or scraping may be needed to remove tartar.
In which cases is the extraction of a cat’s teeth necessary?
Tooth extractions should be performed by the veterinarian.
The periodontal disease advanced can cause tooth loss. Teeth that are severely affected must be removed before the damage is permanent.
Other reasons for extracting cat teeth are :
- The deciduous teethor when dental malocclusion, are causes of tooth extraction.
- The dental caries, the LEF or teeth that are severely infectedalways considered susceptible extraction
- The cats suffering from root abscess or jaw fracturesmay be treated with canal therapy or tooth extraction according to severity
The cost of cat tooth extraction is based on the type of procedure performed, and may include hospitalization, anesthesia, pain relievers, X-rays, and surgical supplies. Therefore, it is best to always take preventive measures to avoid surgeries and extraction procedures for your cat’s teeth.
What happens to cats that have lost several teeth?
Most cats have no problem adjusting to tooth loss . Cats can eat well, even having lost several teeth. Some animals have lost all of their teeth and can still eat dry food. The goal, however, is to retain as many teeth as possible because the teeth help contribute to the strength of the jaw.
Most common dental problems in cats
- Plaque buildup.
- Periodontal disease.
- Loss of teeth
- Sores and ulcers in the mouth.
- Resortive Feline Odontoclastic Lesions (FORL).
How can we know that a cat has tooth problems?
Cats are very adept at hiding symptoms of pain and illness. Bad breath is a common symptom of dental problems that you are likely to see in your cat. If your cat has bad breath, you should consider a dental check-up with your vet.
However, in severe cases, you may also notice one of the following symptoms:
- Eating problems, loss of appetite
- Red, swollen, and bleeding gums
- Loose, broken and missing teeth
- Blood in saliva or runny nose
- Mouth injuries
- Bad breath – an unusually strong odor can suggest digestive problems or a dental condition
- Swollen gums: swollen gums can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, inability to eat, and can be a sign of kidney disease or feline immunodeficiency virus
- Gum ulcers
- Excess drooling or patting in the mouth area
- Difficulty chewing food or refusal of food
How Often Do You Need To Clean A Cat’s Teeth?
The recommended frequency of cleaning your cat’s teeth depends on several factors, such as:
- Existence of other health conditions
Regardless of the signs or symptoms, your cat should have a dental checkup at least once a year. Although you should look at your cat’s teeth periodically, it is easy to miss symptoms that a trained and experienced veterinarian will detect. It is much easier to treat and solve dental problems that are detected early, compared to dental problems that go unnoticed allow them to develop. Therefore, prevention is recommended when it comes to feline dental hygiene .
Many cats will allow you to brush their teeth. You should brush your cat’s teeth daily with specially designed brushes and feline hygiene products.
How to brush a cat’s teeth at home
The main thing for the oral care of cats at home is brushing. Here are some tips to get started:
- Get your cat used to the idea of regular teeth cleaning. Keep the sessions short and positive. Gently massage your gums with a finger or a cotton swab.
- Use a toothbrushdesigned especially for cats; it is smaller than a human toothbrush and has softer bristles. There are also toothbrushes that you can use by placing them on your finger.
- Use toothpaste designed for cats; Using your own toothpaste can cause distress and upset your cat’s stomach.
- If your cat has swollen gums, brushing her teeth too hard can be painful for the cat.
Cleaning your cat’s teeth is very important if you want to avoid, among other dental diseases, cavities and gingivitis . These are preventable and curable diseases, if you regularly brush your cat’s teeth. It’s important to start early when your kitty first comes home, as she will get used to cleaning and offer less resistance as she ages. Regular teeth cleaning can also prevent the many dental problems that can arise in older cats.
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