Similar to human teeth, cats have two sets of teeth: kittens have 26, and adult cats have 30.
When a kitten reaches 6 to 7 months old, all 30 adult teeth will have appeared. Ideally, the baby tooth associated with the permanent ones falls by themselves. However, there are times when the adult tooth appears alongside the baby pearls. This is referred to as persistent deciduous teeth and happens when the tooth roots do not fall by themselves. This causes the permanent tooth to grow at an abnormal angle or in an unusual position. The result is often crowding or malposition of the crown, which is called malocclusion.
In these dental conditions, early extraction will enable the adult teeth to move into their correct positions and prevent further problems. If you observe any oral diseases such as this, take your cat to your veterinarian asap for good oral health.
Anatomy of Feline Teeth
As with humans, cats have two sets of teeth. As kittens, they have 26 baby teeth, also called deciduous or milk teeth. As grown-up cats, they have 30. Here is everything you need to know about your cat's dental health. Let's begin with names, shall we?
A tooth is composed of a part above the gum line called the crown and a section listed below the gum line called the root.
Enamel, the most complex mineralized tissue found in the body, covers the crown. The cementum, which is attached to the gum ligament, covers the root. Dentin, which is softer than enamel, makes up most of the molar. Inside, the pulp comprises tissues that contain nerves, capillaries, and lymphatics.
Incisors are called first, second, and third based on where they are located in the mouth. There must be six incisors in the top jaw and six in the lower jaw. Incisor teeth are utilized for shearing as well as grooming.
Two big canine teeth lie in the upper as well as the lower jaw. The canines are known to tear with tremendous pressure.
3. Premolars and molars
Premolar teeth have sharp edges utilized for shearing. In cats, there are four premolar teeth on either side of the upper and lowers jaws. Dogs have four molars (2 on each side) in the top jaw and six (3 on each side) in the lower. Molars have a flat surface that is utilized for grinding.
Cats have three premolars on each side of the upper jaw recognized as 2nd, 3rd, and fourth, and two reduced premolars on each side of the reduced jaw called third as well as 4th. Felines have one top and also lower molar on each side.
4. Carnassial teeth
Carnassial teeth are the 4th top premolars as well as the 1st lower molars. This term implies "tearing of flesh" and is used to label the largest shearing teeth of the top and bottom jaw in dogs, cats, and various other carnivores.
When Do Kittens Get their Deciduous Teeth?
Kittens are born with no noticeable teeth. The deciduous teeth start pushing out of the gum tissues at around three weeks of age and typically emerge by 6 to 8 weeks old.
A healthy mouth depends on healthy teeth. The best time to begin cleaning a kitty cat's teeth to prevent oral disease is when you first bring them home. During the short period when the primary teeth are falling and the adult teeth appear, it is suggested that you pause the dental care routine. Your vet can help you establish the best products and practices to care for cats.
When Do kitties Get Their Permanent Adult Teeth?
In kittens, the entire teething procedure is relatively quick. Teething starts at ten weeks to 6 months old, with the primary incisors being replaced by their permanent counterparts. By the time a kitten gets to 6-7 months of age, all 30 grown-up teeth will undoubtedly have grown out of the gums.
What Happens at Teething?
Buried in the jaw bone, adult teeth, also called tooth buds, are forming. These teeth grow beneath the primary teeth, move through the bone, and "erupt" via the gums. Typically, the baby molar associated with that permanent pearly white will have fallen by this time. You might even find hollow shells of the primary teeth on the floor or in your cat's beds, but generally, the teeth will fall while the kitten eats, and they will ingest them.
The teething procedure can be a time of discomfort and pain. Your kitty may drool, be reluctant to eat at times, and also may be irritable because of a tender mouth. Nearly all kittens will have the urge to chew when they are teething. It would be best if you did what you could to direct your kitty's chewing in the direction of acceptable items. Avoid offering your kitten tough objects that can damage their teeth.
You may also observe characteristic bad breath related to teething. This odor is entirely normal and will last as long as the kitten is teething.
Occasionally, however, the permanent molar emerges together with the baby one. When the milk teeth have not yet fallen, it is described as persistent. Especially when the permanent ones have started to appear.
What is a Persistent Tooth?
A persistent baby tooth happens when the root is either incompletely resorbed, or it did not resorb whatsoever and, therefore, does not fall. When this happens, the milk occupies the area in the mouth dedicated to the permanent, making it emerge at an abnormal angle or in an odd position. The result is either crowding or malposition, causing an abnormal bite (malocclusion).
Which milk teeth are likely to be persistent?
The most typical teeth to be relentless are the top canine teeth, complied with by the reduced canine teeth and then the incisors. Nevertheless, in many cases, cats might also keep premolar teeth.
What issues are created by persistent teeth?
Suppose both milk and a permanent emerged in the same area in the jaw. In that case, the crowding of both teeth will boost the likelihood that food and debris will be entrapped in between the teeth. If the root of the persistent has only been partially resorbed, it can end up being badly infected. This can lead to troubles such as tartar deposits, dental caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis - every one of which can cause early loss of teeth.
If teeth are malpositioned, they can end up rubbing against other teeth, wearing away the enamel and weakening the tooth. Over time, a persistent can cause an oral interlock which may disrupt the normal development and the advancement of the jawbones.
If the persistent is a lower canine, the permanent canine will emerge on the inside of the lower jaw and grow towards the mouth's roof. Constant contact between the canine and the roof of the mouth might cause significant injury and pain and interfere with your pet's ability to eat comfortably.
How is a persistent tooth treated?
No two teeth ought to be in the same position at the same time. If you see a persistent in your kitten's mouth, make an appointment with your veterinarian asap to schedule an evaluation. Unless the primary teeth are very mobile, removal is the option. I will not advise you to wait until your kitten is neutered or spayed.
What happens if there is a delayed extraction of a persistent tooth?
If the persistent is not removed promptly, the adult teeth may not be able to move into their correct positions without orthodontic therapy. In these situations, or for kittens with extreme malocclusion issues, it might be required to extract other teeth or refer your cat to a veterinary oral expert for orthodontic treatment to reposition the teeth in their correct position.
In addition to regular brushing, it is essential to check your kitten's mouth each week until 7 to 8 months old to ensure that her teeth are growing in the correct position. If you discover any type of persistent teeth, or if you presume your kitten has an irregular bite (malocclusion), take it to your vet instantly for a dental evaluation.