Kittens are born without teeth, but as soon as they stop breastfeeding (around 3 weeks of age) they begin to develop a set of teeth called "primary teeth or baby teeth." As in other species, although these teeth are small, their bite can be very annoying due to their sharp and incisive character.
FROM MILK TEETH TO PERMANENT TEETH
"Primary or milk teeth" are fully visible after 6 weeks, and consist of 26 pieces. When they reach 4 months of age, "baby teeth" usually fall out and are replaced by "permanent teeth." At that time, your kitten will have 30 teeth, including 4 molars. During this transit, you will feel discomfort associated with gum irritation and you will notice that you develop any of the following behaviors:
- Need to nibble objects or toys.
- Certain lack of appetite due to the pain caused by the gums.
It is important that you check your kitty's mouth to verify that, during the passage of the “milk teeth” to the “permanent ones”, none of the “primary teeth” has been retained, thus displacing any of the “permanent” teeth . When this occurs, the rest of the final teeth can be affected by such displacement, which can cause pain in the gums and palate. If you detect that this is the case of your kitten, it is best to go to the veterinarian to assess the severity and establish the guidelines to be followed, even contemplating the need to remove the retained tooth.
HOW MANY TEETH HAS AN ADULT CAT?
The 30 permanent teeth ("permanent"), are distributed in the jaws by the following structure:
- Upper jaw: 6 incisors, 1 canine on each side, 3 premolars on the right and 3 on the left, and one molar on each end.
- Lower jaw: 6 incisors, 1 canine on each side, 2 premolars on the right and 2 on the left, and one molar on each end.
The teeth of the cats are characterized by the wide development of the fangs, unlike the incisors (which are small), and the ability of the molars, which acts as a scissors to cut the food, without chewing it.
Ensuring that your cat has healthy teeth is necessary to avoid suffering from problems, such as excess tartar, gingivitis, or others of a more serious nature. On the one hand, we recommend that, in addition to assiduously observing the denture of your cat when it has already developed the “permanent teeth”, go to the veterinarian to perform periodic examinations, and determine if it is necessary to perform a oral cleaning. On the other hand, it is important that you have toys that help you to properly implement your teeth, and also your cat can eliminate food debris accumulated in the teeth or gums.
Finally, it is imperative that you provide a dry diet that prevents your dental care from an early age. Purina ONE has the variety of dry adult food, which in addition to using high quality ingredients that allow optimal nutrient absorption, includes an active ingredient that has been shown to collect tartar buildup by up to 40%.
Milk teeth in kittens
Kittens are born without any teeth. Your first teeth (usually the incisors in the front of your mouth) begin to appear at about two weeks of age. Baby teeth are a bit translucent, and not very large.
Two weeks later, you should notice that his fangs are growing. By the time they are six weeks old, their "premolars" will have appeared. All these 26 teeth will be removed and replaced by adult teeth.
Puppies and kittens have sharp teeth like needles. A complete set of emerging teeth irritates the nursing mother and the weaning process begins. This is the point at which kittens stop breastfeeding and start eating solid foods for themselves. If you have a kitten that was separated from his mother, you may have been providing complementary nutrition through a bottle. If that is the case, now is a good time to stop bottle feeding and allow your kitty to start eating alone.
How to help a kitten when the baby teeth come out?
The start time and duration of the transition from baby teeth to an adult's teeth vary with each animal, but in general, the loss of baby teeth usually begins around 3 months of age and ends between 6 and 9 months old.
Kittens begin to lose their baby teeth at 11 weeks of age. You may notice that your kitten seems to have sore gums: he may have more difficulty chewing food or be unusually shy when playing or looking for games. Your kitten may also drool a little when his teeth fall out. When this happens:
- Make sure your pet has plenty of soft foods that do not irritate your gums.
- Avoid games that require you to use your mouth.
- Avoid brushing your teeth or gums, as this could be painful.
What to do when kittens fall out of milk teeth?
As they grow, adult teeth push against the roots of milk teeth. Over time, adult teeth absorb the roots of the teeth. When baby teeth fall out, all that remains is the crowns of the teeth.
Baby teeth can fall anytime, anywhere. You can find baby teeth on the carpet, stuck in a toy or in your pet's fur. Very often, missing teeth are hard to find. Many animals swallow them, which is normal and not harmful to your pet.
The gums should heal quickly after the loss of the milk tooth. Adult teeth are denser, bright white and much larger than outgoing milk teeth.
What to do if a kitten's teeth do not fall out of milk
Animals that do not lose their baby teeth have a condition called retained baby teeth. It is often the canine teeth (the "fangs" in dogs and cats) that are retained. Retained teeth should be removed, usually at the time of spaying or neutering, to prevent other problems from developing. The removal of these retained teeth allows adult teeth to grow properly and prevents breakage or infection of the most fragile milk teeth.
Now is the time to take care of those teeth! Getting your pet used to a dental care routine while you are young is the best way to ensure dental health later.
Is it normal for adult cats to lose teeth?
The teeth of a healthy adult cat are composed of 30 pieces, of which the powerful fangs stand out. In its upper jaw, 6 incisors, 2 canines (1 on each side), 6 premolars (3 on each side), and 2 molars (1 on each end) should be included. Already at the bottom, 6 incisors, 2 canines (1 on each side), 4 premolars (2 on each side), and 1 molar on each end are observed.
Is quite common for a cat to lose 1 or 2 pieces permanent during their adult life. However, the loss of teeth in adult cats is considered a negative sign, which reveals possible imbalances in your body. Many owners neglect the oral hygiene of their cats, and this not only facilitates the accumulation of tartar, it also makes it difficult to recognize the loss of a tooth.
When an adult cat loses a tooth, we must be attentive to a possible infection or injury in his mouth. Therefore, it is essential to periodically check the teeth, gums, tongue and walls of your pussy's mouth. And when observing any wound, change of color or appearance, excessive drooling, unpleasant aroma or pus, do not stop resorting immediately to the veterinarian.
The main factor associated with tooth loss in adult cats is feeding. Felines, unlike humans, do not have bite surfaces (which allow chewing) in your permanent teeth. For a wild cat, this is not a problem, since its diet is based on the consumption of fresh and raw meat. Its powerful molars act as scissors that cut food, without chewing.
However, a domestic cat usually consumes dry feed and some wet foods or pates that are prepared based on cooked meat, cereals or vegetables. On the one hand, this type of diet prevents the contamination of many pathologies related to the consumption of raw meat (such as toxoplasmosis). But on the other hand, it favors waste accumulation food in your teeth, which leads to the formation of tartar.
When we do not provide adequate oral hygiene to our cats, the excessive accumulation of tartar on their teeth and gums, favors the appearance of lesions and dental pathologies, among which gingivitis and periodontal disease stand out. If we do not quickly treat these imbalances, our pussy may begin to lose teeth, as well as develop digestive problems.
How to prevent loss>
The best way to prevent tartar buildup, prevent tooth loss in cats and the associated pathologies, is to provide adequate Oral hygiene to your feline throughout his life. When was the last time you brushed your pussy's teeth? If you've never done it or if you want to learn how to do it properly, go to Animal Expert to discover how to clean a cat's teeth.
Another relevant consideration is to think about changing the dry feed of our pussycat by a raw diet, also known as BARF diet. This proposal of raw and natural food allows you to enjoy the benefits not only for your oral health, but also for your digestion and immune system. To know some delicious recipes, we recommend our article 5 BARF recipes for totally natural and healthy cats.
This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Loss of teeth in cats, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.