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  • Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic

    896 N. Burlington Boulevard, Burlington, WA 98233 US


  • The Chuckanut Valley Feline Center

    1214 Dupont Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 US


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Fractured Teeth in Cats

Our veterinarians in Burlington and Bellingham will discuss the primary cause of tooth fractures in cats, which can be painful and require attention.

How do Cats Break their Teeth?

Fractures in a cat's longest tooth, also known as the canine or "fang," are common. Although it may not necessarily cause discomfort or pose a serious threat to the feline, it's important to seek treatment if the tooth pulp, which is the living tissue located at the tooth's center, is damaged. If left untreated, the fracture for chipped could lead to more severe dental problems, such as bacterial infections or endodontic disease.

What are the Signs of a Fractured Tooth in a Cat?

Some indicators to watch out for are:

  • Chewing on one side
  • Dropping food from the mouth when eating
  • Excessive drooling
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Facial swelling
  • Lymph node enlargement325
  • Shying away when the face is petted
  • Refusing to eat hard food
  • Refusing to chew on hard treats or toys

If you suspect that your cat's tooth is fractured but you don't notice any signs of discomfort, the tooth pulp may have already died. This means that your cat's immune system has successfully prevented any infections from occurring, which can hide any symptoms. It may take several weeks or even months for damaged tooth pulp to die, and your cat may not show any symptoms during this time.

If your cat has a fractured tooth, it's important to take them to the veterinarian immediately. Cats tend to hide their symptoms, so seeking professional help is critical. If your cat's tooth is bleeding, it's necessary to take them to urgent care without delay, as their dental pulp may have been injured.

Diagnosis of Tooth Fracture in Cats

When you take your cat to the vet for a teeth examination, the vet will check for any visible signs of tooth pulp damage. They will also ask about when you first noticed the fracture and if any traumatic events could have caused it. It's important to tell the vet about all symptoms your cat is experiencing, as this will help them decide if your cat requires a more invasive treatment. The vet may administer anesthesia or sedate your cat and perform an X-ray to determine if there is any pulp damage.

What Can Be Done to Fix a Broken Tooth?

If a tooth is damaged only in a way that affects its appearance and not the pulp, then no treatment is necessary. However, if the pulp is exposed, the tooth will need to undergo a root canal or be removed. If any of the soft tissues in the mouth, including the gums, have been damaged, they will also need to be treated during the procedure. Root canal therapy is often recommended and is an affordable option.

After removing the infected pulp tissue, the tooth will be restored with a tooth-colored composite material to seal it and prevent future infections. Your dentist will use a radiograph to ensure the tooth is fully filled. The tooth must be removed if the pulp has died and caused an infection.

Antibiotics may treat the infection if it continues after removing the tooth. However, giving antibiotics without treating the damaged pulp or removing the tooth will only temporarily relieve the bacterial infection. The infection will likely return once the medication is discontinued.

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.

If you have concerns about your cat having a fractured tooth. Please contact our Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic and Chuckanut Feline Center vets in Burlington and Bellingham today to book an oral examination.

New Patients Welcome

Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic and Chuckanut Feline Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Burlington and Bellingham companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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