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Fractured & Broken Teeth in Cats

While your cat may not go around chomping on hard objects, there are still situations that can lead to dental fractures. Here, our Rancho Palos Verdes vets the symptoms of broken teeth in cats, how chipped or fractured teeth happen and when it might be an emergency.

How do broken teeth happen?

Cats with dental fractures most commonly experience a broken canine tooth. These are the longer, sharper teeth at the front corners of the mouth. These tooth breaks are usually a result of fights with other cats, chewing on hard objects, and even car accidents. 

Even so, any chipped or broken tooth in cats is considered a fracture, and the level of severity dictates the type of treatment required by the veterinarian. If you bring your kitty in for a tooth fracture, the vet will perform a dental examination and determine the best treatment as a result, ranging from tooth fillings to dental surgery.

Because broken teeth can occur so easily in cats you should be aware of the signs to look out for.

How to Tell When a Cat Has a Broken or Chipped Tooth

There are four main types of tooth fractures that a cat may experience:

  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. Root fracture: A tooth breakage that reaches the root.

While the different types of tooth fractures range in severity, they often present themselves in the same way: pained symptoms in your cat.

Symptoms of a Broken Tooth in Cats

If your cat experiences a broken tooth, the symptoms might be pretty obvious. But here we share some of the most common, including those that may be less noticeable. 

Please get in touch with our Rancho Palos Verdes veterinarians as soon as possible to schedule a dental examination for your feline companion if you observe any of the following symptoms:

  • 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 it an emergency if my cat broke a tooth?

If your cat has a severe tooth fracture, the breakage could reach the pulp in the center of the tooth, which contains the soft tissue and nerve endings. This could lead to infection of the mouth and severe pain. In this scenario, your cat's tooth fracture is an emergency. 

In general, it is sound practice to treat every tooth crack and fracture as if it were an emergency. A veterinarian will be in the best position to evaluate the condition of your cat's tooth and determine whether or not it is necessary to require immediate medical attention.

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.

Are you worried that your cat has a broken tooth? Please contact our Rancho Palos Verdes vets if you notice any of the signs listed above.

New Patients Welcome

All Pets Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rancho Palos Verdes companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact (310) 547-2784