Is Your Cat Losing Teeth? Here’s Why
Kittens lose their baby teeth, just like humans do. But what if an adult cat starts losing her teeth? What could be the cause, and is it something to worry about?
We cover some information below about feline dental disease and tooth loss, but please keep in mind that, if your cat is experiencing any problems with her teeth or gums, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for personalized guidance and treatment.
Gum Disease Is Often to Blame
Many adult cats have gum disease that, when left untreated, could lead to tooth loss. Basically, it starts with gingivitis, which develops when the gums become inflamed because of plaque buildup. This can then progress and turn into periodontitis, which destroys the tissues that keep teeth in place, resulting in tooth loss.
Getting into a routine of brushing your cat’s teeth at home may help keep her chompers clean, as well as help keep gingivitis at bay. Beyond that, regular trips to the vet can also help ensure your pet’s teeth and gums remain healthy.
Your vet will be able to take X-rays and perform a thorough examination of your kitty’s entire mouth, finding problems that need to be treated promptly to prevent the loss of teeth. Your vet might also recommend having your kitty’s teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis to remove plaque before it can lead to gum disease. And upon examination of your pet’s mouth, your vet may also find other problems, such as teeth that are abscessed or broken and require extraction.
Tooth Resorption Is Another Common Cause
Experts haven’t yet been able to figure out what causes feline resorptive lesions, but tooth resorption is a common condition that affects 20-60% of all kitties and over 70% of those who are over the age of five. It’s also one of the main causes of tooth loss in cats.
This painful condition causes one or more teeth to erode, and it is progressive, so it will continue to worsen over time. As the teeth erode away, they become damaged, and tooth loss might occur as a result.
If your vet diagnoses your cat with this dental condition, the likely remedy will be the extraction of any damaged teeth.
Injuries Might Result in Tooth Loss
Just like people, a cat might end up losing one or more teeth if she injures her mouth. Keeping a close eye on your pet, especially while she’s playing with your other pets or with children, may help prevent injuries that would cause the teeth to become loose and fall out.
Work with Your Vet to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean and Strong Because dental disease might lead to tooth loss and other health issues, it’s wise to take steps to prevent oral problems before they occur. And if you notice that your cat is losing teeth, it might be a sign that there’s an infection or an injury to blame, so seeing your vet can help you get the answers you need.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. An advocate for better treatment of all animals, she enjoys producing content that educates others, helps them understand animals better, and inspires them to help, whether that means volunteering at a shelter, fostering strays, or simply giving their own pets a safe and happy home to live in.
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