For some inexplicable factor, I get fewer questions from my feline customers about their cat’s teeth and mouth than questions from dog guardians. I have a few theories on this phenomenon:
- I think in general cat guardians have less direct interaction with their cat’s mouths (i.e. not as much kissing or licking. Felines are far too dignified for that).
- Feline guardians have less direct contact with their family pet’s mouth through chew toys and bouts of tug-of-war (as if a feline could be bothered).
- The fact that poking around a feline’s mouth often results in deep leak wounds (well…duh).
Take your pick, include your very own, however the majority of cat owners I serve seem mainly unenthusiastic in the teeth, gums, lips, and tongue of their feline buddy. However when they do ask questions, they’re some of the best, most challenging and intriguing queries you’ll experience. Read on; you simply might learn something or get a chuckle or more.
Questions About Cat’s Teeth
1. How many teeth do felines have? I just see two — the fangs.
Cats have 30 adult teeth and 26 baby teeth. That’s far fewer than dogs (42 and 28) and less than human beings (32 and 20). Those “fangs” or upper canine teeth often protrude saber-tooth tiger design and provide some cats a challenging smile. Yes, I’m afraid. And I think those enamel-embellished cats choose it that method.
2. When do cats get their baby and adult teeth?
Observing the eruption or development of teeth is a fantastic technique for approximating a kitten’s age. This is particularly useful when confronted with a roaming kittycat. The first teeth to appear are the tiny front teeth or incisors and the long, pointy canines (some people still describe them as “fangs.” Blame it on Twilight.). The main (or “baby”) incisors and dogs become visible around three to four weeks of age. The teeth immediately behind the dogs, the premolars, quickly follow the front teeth. This normally occurs when the kittycats are around 5 to 6 weeks old. The long-term teeth appear around 11 to 16 weeks of age, beginning with the incisors followed by the dogs at 12 to 20 weeks. The premolars remain in place by 16 to 20 weeks of age. The difficult-to-see, way-in-the-back molars emerge around 20 to 24 weeks.
Also read: Teething in Kittens
3. Do cats get cavities?
Dental caries, or “cavities” for the rest people not calling ourselves “Dentist,” are uncommon in felines and dogs. This is due in part to a cat’s fairly low-sugar diet, distinctions in oral bacteria, and the shape of the teeth. When cavities take place, they can be painful and require comparable repair treatments as human beings with cavities, or, cavities.
4. Why are feline bites so bad and likely to obtain infected?
Anybody who’s dealt with and dealt with enough felines knows that when you’re bitten (note I said “when”) by a feline, not just does it hurt like you-know-what but those deep leak injuries are likely to become infected or abscessed. The first answer lies within the unique anatomy of among a feline’s primary weapons — those long, sharp, pointy canines. Developed similar to hypodermic needles, these teeth excel at penetrating flesh intensely, damaging underlying structures such as arteries and veins. In addition, like that needle, they bring pathogenic bacteria deep inside the body. As the tooth is withdrawn, the narrow puncture wound closes onto itself, trapping behind infection that later ends up being an abscess. Making matters worse, a feline’s mouth includes several types of extremely pathogenic microorganisms. This is why whenever a feline bites among my veterinary staff, I send them to the doctor’s workplace right away to begin a course of antibiotics. I have a good friend whose spouse was recently bitten by a roaming cat they were trying to rescue. She was bitten but believed it was such a tiny bite that it would be great. She almost lost her hand. After extensive intravenous antibiotics and a number of days in the health center, I’m pleased to report she’ll keep her hand, although she may have permanent impairment. Do not gamble if you’re bitten. Flush the wound completely and look for medical attention.
5. Can felines re-grow their teeth? Do their teeth keep growing their entire lives?
No and no. Sharks are probably the animal you’re considering. After a cat gets all 30 permanent teeth in location, that’s it. No more. Lose one and your feline is permanently down to 29. Unlike rodents, a cat’s teeth don’t continue growing. If they did, I ‘d be even more intimidated by my big 15 year-old cat cat, Freddy. His canines would be dragging the ground by now…
6. Do cats require braces?
You jest but some cats do, in truth, need braces to correct some really severe oral malformations. The most common factors for feline brace-face include lance or saber-like canine forecasts of the upper canines in Persian cats. “Wry bite” is another problem that results when an irregular bite takes place, triggering one or both dogs to extend at odd angles, preventing normal consuming and drinking. Braces for felines aren’t for cosmetic however actually life-saving conditions.
7. My vet stated my cat had some painful tooth problem that may need extraction of several teeth. Is this legit?
I’m thinking your cat may be among the millions of cats impacted by an uncommon, exceptionally typical and incredibly painful condition known frequently as feline ondoclastic resorptive sores, or FORLs. Most felines with FORLs are over five years old. The most typical scientific signs associated with FORLs include excessive salivation, bleeding from the gum line or teeth, and problem eating. Many of my patients will unexpectedly become “picky” and choose not to eat dry kibble. There are lots of treatments available, however extraction is still the most commonly carried out procedure to eliminate this agonizing condition. The exact cause of FORLs has yet to be identified, although researchers are actively pursuing numerous theories.
8. Can cats get mouth cancer?
Regretfully, yes. Oral growths in cats are really serious and require immediate and aggressive treatment. Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) are the most common deadly oral growth in cats, although lots of other kinds of cancer take place. If you observe any lumps, swelling, or blemished areas in your felines’ mouth, have it seen by your veterinarian at once.
9. My cat has swollen gums and his entire mouth appears inflamed. What’s going on?
My greatest issue is your cat has a condition called stomatitis (more correctly referred to as lymphocytic plasmacytic gingivitis pharangitis syndrome). This condition is likewise very painful and most cats have issues consuming and swallowing, weight loss, and excessive salivation. Treatments vary commonly and felines react in a different way to a variety of alternatives. The precise cause is unidentified although an underlying immune-mediated disorder is highly thought. Be patient and work closely with your vet; cats with stomatitis need extended periods of treatment.
10. I can’t brush my cat’s teeth! Am I a bad family pet parent?
If not brushing your feline’s teeth is your worst offense, I’m not going to say you’re a bad kitty momma. Besides, I’ll let you in on a secret; I don’t brush my cats’ teeth, either. Instead, I have their teeth routinely cleaned up (generally a minimum of when a year) under anesthesia by one of my veterinary service technicians. While my kitties are sleeping, I take dental x-rays to make sure there are no covert problems below the gums. I likewise give them chew treats approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) to help lower tartar in felines. My felines will tolerate oral antimicrobial rinses so they get their “mouth wash” a few times weekly. Finally, I make it a habit to (carefully) lift the lips of my cats and examine their teeth and gums every week to make sure whatever looks healthy. So do not fret; take your cats to your vet a minimum of when a year, have actually the teeth cleaned up by an expert when required, conduct regular home mouth checks, and use products shown to help keep your cat’s mouth healthy.
Also read: Cat Chewing on Cords: What You Can Do