Common Cat Teeth Problems

Many factors can cause dental disease in cats.

Taking your cat for regular dental cleanings and routine exams will help you avoid these problems.

Here are the most common cat teeth problems and how to avoid them.

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Common Cat Teeth Problems


Dental disease in cats can cause pain and discomfort, which can affect the cat’s quality of life. In many cases, cats with dental disease stop eating, which can cause health problems. 

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the most common teeth issue in cats and affects almost 70% of cats by the time they are three years old.
Food remains stuck to the teeth, and bacteria will form bacterial plaque.
Tartar begins to enter the gums and damage the tissues around the teeth, causing inflammation, infection, and later tooth loss.
Start early dental care at home to avoid periodontal disease in your cat.


Feline stomatitis is a severe and extremely painful condition. This inflammation or ulceration affects the gums, cheek tissue, and tissues at the back of the mouth.

Cats with stomatitis have red and inflamed mouths. In addition, the cat loses their appetite due to pain and can develop malnutrition.

Although some cats respond to medical treatment and oral hygiene, most cats require the extraction of most or all of their teeth to experience relief from this painful condition.

Some breeds, such as the Himalayan and Persian, may be predisposed to this condition, but all cat breeds can suffer from stomatitis even before the cat is one year old.


Tartar produces gingivitis.

When tartar burrows into and under the gum tissue, the gums become red, irritated, and inflamed. Once tartar has burrowed into the gum line and creates gingivitis, plaque bacteria constantly creep under the gum line, resulting in varying degrees of gum infection

Bad breath

Halitosis or bad breath is due to multiple problems in the oral cavity, from simple periodontal disease to an infection.

Other diseases, such as diabetes or kidney disease, can cause halitosis.

Dental fractures

Fractured teeth are common in cats. Fractures are usually seen at the tips of the fangs, although premolar fractures are also common.

In cats, the pulp tissue extends almost to the end of the tooth, which means that even small fractures can lead to painful root exposure.

Treatment depends on the severity of the fracture and the affected tooth and may include extraction or root canals.

It is important not to ignore fractured teeth. In addition to being very painful, open fractures can lead to abscesses, facial swelling, or infection.

Feline Odontoclastic Resorption

When dental resorption occurs, the tooth gradually disappears, starting in the central area and spreading up and down, affecting the root.
As a consequence, it falls off. This illness is a painful process without a cure. The only option is to remove all the affected parts.

Oral Cancer

Masses of different sizes can also appear in the oral cavity, squamous cell carcinoma being a common malignant tumor that grows on the lip and which, in advanced stages, has no possibility of cure.

Tumors in the mouth are more common in older cats. Although they do not usually cause metastases except for squamous cell carcinoma.

Common Cat Teeth Problems


The most common symptoms of dental problems in cats are the following:

  • Hypersalivation
  • Bad breath or halitosis.
  • Red and bleeding gums.
  • Pain
  • Fall of teeth.
  • Gums retraction
  • Mouth wounds.
  • Weight losing.
  • Presence of tumor masses.
  • Enlarged mandibular lymph nodes.
  • Fever
  • Difficulty swallowing


  • Clean the surfaces of your cat’s teeth to keep the gums healthy.
  • Taking your cat for regular dental cleanings and routine exams will help you avoid common cat teeth problems.
  • Professional dental cleanings for cats should begin at one year to prevent periodontal diseases.
  • For best results, begin brushing your cat’s teeth when she is a kitten. Young kittens will easily adapt to cleaning teeth at home.

Always consult with your veterinarian to explore the possible causes of bad breath and periodontal disease in your cat and the treatment options.

Image credit: Pixabay. Unsplash Pexels

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