Puppies are born without teeth and, as their first weeks of life pass, primary teeth erupt or better known as baby teeth in cats. This also occurs in other species of mammals, such as us humans.
It is a completely natural process and you should not worry if you find small teeth on the floor or in the kitten’s bed during the first months of life.
1. How many teeth does a cat have?
To know the number of teeth an animal has, the dental formula is used, which is a simple way to represent the order, type and number of teeth.
A cat’s first dentition consists of 26 baby teeth, three incisors on each side, two fangs and three premolars on one side and two on the other: 2 (I 3/3 C 1/1 P 3/2) = 26 teeth. These teeth are smaller and sharper than those you will have as an adult.
Baby teeth in cats will be replaced by adult permanent ones: an adult cat has 30 teeth. The permanent dental formula of the cat is 2 (I 3/3 C 1/1 P 3/2 M1 / 1) = 30 teeth. The molars, which are the deepest teeth of the mouth, have already appeared in the adult cat, while the first upper molar is the largest.
2. The types of teeth
The incisors are 12 in total. They are teeth with short crowns and narrow roots, which are located in the front of the mouth in a rectilinear manner. They appear after three or four weeks and are much smaller than in dogs.
The canines or fangs are large and curved, are separated from the incisors and both dogs and cats have four. They appear at three weeks of life and They are the teeth of milk that may take longer to fall.
Premolars are placed before future molars and in cats, because the jaw and jaw are shorter, premolars and molars are missing. The first and second premolar and the first and second molar in the jaw are missing, and in the maxillary bone the first premolar and the second molar are missing.
3. When do baby teeth begin to fall in cats?
Permanent teeth appear in cats after three months and this process can last up to six months of age.
As adult teeth grow, they push the milk tooth until it falls. During this time you can notice some kitten discomfort and type behaviors:
- Greater need to nibble objects.
- Greater salivation
- Inapetence For some time, due to the pain of the growth of new teeth, the kitten does not feel like eating.
It is important that during these months you observe the mouth of your cat to verify that all the teeth come out correctly and, if you see any problem, go to the veterinarian. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove a tooth, to avoid dental crowding or malocclusion, which favor the accumulation of tartar.
4. Dental hygiene
Although dogs with dental problems are more frequent, periodontal disease also exists in cats, which can lead to tooth loss.
The causes that lead to periodontal disease They are the same as in dogs:
- Poor dental hygiene.
- Low quality food. Low-end feeds create a lot of tartar in tooth enamel, which hardens and forms very hard plaques that can be removed with dental cleaning at the veterinarian.
Tartar buildup is usually more frequent in the upper part of the mouth than elsewhere in dogs and cats.
If the tartar is not removed, the affected tooth can fall out, the gum become infected and can even lead to bone loss and tooth support structures. In very severe cases, the infection can progress and affect other organs. For this reason, it is important to take care of dental hygiene from baby teeth in cats.
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