Is your cat losing teeth? Are you noticing a few gaps in your furry friend’s smile? Well, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as calling up the kitty-cat tooth fairy to ask for a return on that precious merchandise. That’s why we’ve dug up all the dirt on the reasons why your cat might be losing their teeth, how to prevent it from getting worse and how to stop it from even starting in the first place.
But First Let’s Take a Look Inside Your Cat’s Mouth
If you have a dog you’re probably well acquainted with their teeth. Their mouths are always open panting, smiling, chewing and pulling on toys. Cats on the other hand, are more reserved with showing their smiles, so unless you’re brushing your cat’s teeth every day (which you should be), you might not know a whole lot about the anatomy of your cat’s mouth.
Let’s break it down:
- Like hoomans, cats are diphyodont animals meaning they have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. They’re born toothless but at around two weeks of age, they start teething as their 26 baby teeth come through. Then at around three months of age, 30 adult teeth start to replace the baby ones.
- Incisors: cats have 12 incisor teeth, 6 at the top and 6 at the bottom. These are the tiny teeth at the very front of their mouth. They’re useless for eating but are helpful for grooming and picking up things.
- Canines: these are the large pointy fang-like teeth. Cats have four canines and use them for tearing and ripping food.
- Premolars and Molars: These are the teeth that are behind the canines and are used for crushing the bones of their prey.
Why Is My Cat Losing Teeth?
There are many reasons for a cat losing teeth. Here are some of the main ones.
- Advanced Gum Disease
Although cats don’t get cavities in the same way that we do due to the different shapes and surfaces of their teeth, they can still get periodontal disease which is the leading cause of cats losing teeth. This usually starts with gingivitis where the gums become inflamed due to a build-up of plaque along the gum line. If this is left unchecked, the gums and the bone around the tooth start to recede making the teeth wobbly and eventually falling out.
- Tooth Resorption
Tooth resorption is a common cause of a cat losing teeth and occurs in 20-60% of all cats. Tooth resorption is when the hard parts of a cat’s teeth, the enamel and dentin, are gradually worn away. Eventually, this created holes in the teeth making them fragile and susceptible to breaking. It can be super painful for little kitties as small fragments of the tooth can be left in their gums, making the process of eating and grooming painful.
Although they spend most of their lives snoozing, at times our cats can be energetic little firecrackers. With zoomies around the house, pouncing on their favourite toys, jumping from heights and climbing up trees, their lives can be thrilling yet dangerous at times, and knocks to their mouths can cause teeth to fall out.
Tumours in the mouth can be another cause of a cat losing teeth. That’s why it’s always purr-udent to take your cat to the vet straight away if you notice they have a missing tooth. You should also be taking your cat to the vet once or twice per year to have their teeth checked to maintain their overall health and dental hygiene.
- Impacted Teeth
Sometimes it might look like your floof has lost a tooth when in fact it may have never come through and might still be there hiding below the gumline. This is called an impacted tooth. It’s still impawtent to get these checked out by your vet as most of the time they are removed to prevent painful cysts from forming.
How to Prevent My Cat Losing Teeth
Prevention is always better than treatment of a cat losing teeth.
Here are our top tips for preventing cat tooth loss:
1. Brush Your Cat’s Teeth!
The best way to maintain your cat’s pearly whites is to brush their teeth daily. It’s best to start this as early as possible so that your cat becomes accustomed to having their teeth cleaned. Six months of age is a good time to start as by then they would have finished teething. Any earlier, and brushing may be too painful. We’ve written a complete guide on cat teeth cleaning so head over there for all the info.
2. Go To The Vet
The best practice for cat dental care is to take your kitty to the vet once or twice a year for an overall health check-up. This way they can check your cat’s teeth and if needed take x-rays or schedule anaesthetised examinations for a thorough assessment.
Picking up cat dental disease early is the best way to prevent your cat from losing teeth, minimise their risk of them being in pain which can be difficult to notice as a pawrent, and start treatment early to maximise the best outcome for your furry best friend.
3. Help Prevent With Scrumbles Cat Dental Treats
A great way to promote good oral hygiene and prevent your cat from losing teeth is to feed them a daily cat dental stick such as our Gnashers Cat Dental Treats.
Now that you’re a whizz on all things cats teeth, you’ll know that plaque is the enemy when it comes to dental disease. Our Gnashers make it easy to control plaque build-up through the use of SHMP, an active ingredient clinically proven to reduce plaque formation by up to 80%.
The crunchy texture of our Gnashers also helps to powerfully rub away tough plaque even at the back of your cat's smile where it can be the most difficult to brush.
They’re also kind on tummies, with added prebiotics and are 100% naturally grain-free to promote healthy digestion and easy clean up at the kitty litter.
Add these to your floof’s diet and watch them grin from ear to ear!