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Fractured Teeth in Cats

Cats are not usually known for exploring the world with their mouths or chewing things like dogs. However, they can still get into trouble and damage their teeth. In this article, our veterinarians in Clearlake will discuss the signs and symptoms of fractured teeth in cats and when they are considered an emergency.

How do cats get broken tooth?

Fractured teeth in cats are a common issue that our vets at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic often see. The canine tooth, which is the longer, sharper tooth at the front corners of the mouth, is usually the tooth that is broken. These breaks occur due to fights with other cats, chewing on hard objects, and even car accidents. 

A chipped or broken cat tooth is considered a fracture, and the severity of the fracture determines the type of treatment the veterinarian will recommend. If you bring your cat in for a tooth fracture, the vet will conduct a dental examination and determine the best treatment based on the severity of the fracture, which can range from tooth fillings to dental surgery.

Since these injuries are quite common, it is essential for cat owners to learn how to recognize tooth fractures in their cats.

How to Tell When a Cat Has a Broken Tooth

There are 4 main types of tooth fractures in cats and dogs:

  1. Uncomplicated crown fracture. A tooth fracture in the crown that does not expose the pulp.
  2. Complicated crown fracture. A crown fracture that does expose the pulp.
  3. Enamel fracture. A fracture or chip to the enamel (outer protective layer) of the tooth.
  4. Roof fracture. A tooth breakage that reaches the root.

While different types of tooth fractures vary in severity, they often present similar painful symptoms in cats.

Signs & Symptoms of Broken Teeth in Cats

The first step to getting dental care for your cat is recognizing the symptoms of a broken tooth.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your feline friend, contact our Clearlake vets right away for a dental examination:

  • Food avoidance or chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Drooling
  • Teeth grinding
  • Facial swelling
  • Food falling out of the mouth when eating
  • Squirming or running away when the face is petted
  • Pawing at the mouth

Is a fractured cat tooth an emergency?

If your cat has a severe tooth fracture, it may reach the pulp in the center of the tooth, which contains soft tissue and nerve endings. This can cause mouth infections and severe pain. Therefore, you should treat every tooth fracture and crack as an emergency. It is important to take your cat to a veterinarian to assess the condition of their tooth and determine if emergency treatment is necessary.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Has your kitty displayed any signs of oral pain or a fractured tooth? Contact our Clearlake veterinarians today for a dental examination.

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Clearlake Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Clearlake companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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