The health of the teeth of cats is important for all kinds of activities: eating, hunting, biting toys … As the pussy ages, the risk of developing various forms of dental diseases increases.
Know the teeth of cats
Like humans, Cats have two dentures in their lives. The first is formed by 26 deciduous teeth or ‘milk teeth’; its appearance begins around three weeks of life. These teeth are usually very sharp, almost like needles, and will fall off after four months of life.
On the other hand, permanent dentition consists of 30 teeth. The cat’s teeth are characterized by highly developed fangs, compared to their incisors.
In addition, it is also characteristic the shape of its molars, designed to tear and cut food, not to chew it as it happens in human molars.
The teeth of cats consist of bone material: the dentin and enamel that cover the crown and the cement that covers the root. On the other hand, there are the soft tissues of the tooth, which include the pulp with its blood vessels and nerves.
If a kitten suffers from an oral disease, it usually has one of four causes: periodontal disease, oral cancer, feline stomatitis or dental resorption. Among these four feline oral diseases, tooth resorption is the most common.
What characterizes tooth resorption?
In general, in a process of resorption, the original structure gradually blurs until it is finally remodeled. Thus, in dental resorption occurs the gradual destruction of the teeth of cats. The process it is extremely painful, although many cats do not show obvious signs of pain unless an injury is touched.
The process begins on the outside of a tooth, in the gum line. Although the condition can occur in any tooth, it is more common in premolars of the lower jaw. Externally, it may look as if the gum tissue grows on or inside the tooth.
It may also appear that a hole formed in the tooth, which is why tooth resorption is sometimes called a cavity. Not to be confused with cavities, which are rare in cats.
In the final stages of the process, the enamel reabsorbs and the tooth fractures or reshapes as a visible formation – of hard tissue similar to a bone – in the gum line.
Possible causes of cat’s teeth resorption
It is known that the plaque accumulated on the tooth surface It causes an inflammatory reaction that plays a role in the development of tooth resorption.
Although there are no conclusive studies, it has been suggested that chronic excess vitamin D in the diet may be the desired cause – for so long – of dental resorption in domestic cats. Some industrial cat foods contain higher levels of vitamin D than recommended.
Treatment of feline tooth resorption
Removal of a tooth under resorption is the only treatment for the condition. Extraction can be a difficult procedure to perform because the affected teeth are usually quite fragile and often fracture and splinter during extraction.
It is important to keep in mind that the need to take x-rays to confirm diagnosis and, in addition, visualize fragments of fractured teeth. The entire tooth and all fragments should be extracted to avoid infections or other problems.
Problems in cat teeth will often not show clinical signs until the disease is advanced. Preventing them is the best option. Read more “