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Cat Tooth Extractions: What to Expect & What to Watch For

Your vet may recommend a tooth extraction if a damaged tooth in your cat cannot be repaired. Our Hohenwald vets discuss what to expect from cat tooth extraction surgery.

Tooth Extractions in Cats

A cat tooth extraction is a surgical procedure in which a veterinarian removes your cat's tooth. This procedure may involve the removal of the entire tooth, including its roots, or it could involve only the visible part of the tooth above the gums, known as the dental crown.

When is dental surgery necessary in cats? 

When a tooth sustains irreparable damage, it is crucial to remove it to prevent infection and pain resulting from the dead tooth. This decay is often gum) disease is the cause of this decay.

Gum disease occurs when plaque accumulates on your cat's teeth and eventually hardens into a substance called calculus or tartar. If not removed, the hardened tartar creates pockets of infection between the gum line and the teeth, resulting in gum erosion and tooth decay. You can help prevent gum disease by regularly cleaning your cat's teeth at home and scheduling professional dental appointments.

Cats are also prone to a condition called feline tooth resorption. Feline tooth resorption is a painful condition that causes erosions to develop on a cat's tooth or teeth, eventually breaking down the structures that form the tooth. Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent feline tooth resorption, and the affected teeth usually require extraction.

Cat Tooth Extraction Process 

When you take your cat to the vet for tooth removal, it will receive general anesthesia to ensure its safety and comfort during the procedure. Before the surgery, your vet may recommend diagnostic tests, such as bloodwork, X-rays, or an EKG, to assess your cat's health and ensure it can tolerate anesthesia. 

A veterinary technician will continuously monitor your cat during the surgery, providing pain relief and ensuring its vital signs remain stable throughout. 

Your vet may use different techniques for tooth extractions depending on the type, size, and location of the teeth that need to be removed.

Why is my cat not sleeping or eating after dental surgery? 

After dental surgery, cats may experience discomfort or pain in their mouths, making it difficult for them to eat or sleep comfortably. The surgical site may be sore, swollen, or tender, making it uncomfortable for the cat to chew or swallow food.

Additionally, the anesthesia used during the surgery can cause drowsiness, nausea, or disorientation, which may affect the cat's appetite and sleep patterns. Furthermore, some cats may also experience stress or anxiety after the surgery, which can further impact their eating and sleeping habits.

It's important to follow the post-operative care instructions provided by the veterinarian to ensure the cat's comfort and recovery after dental surgery.

How to take care of a cat after teeth extraction?

It is normal for your cat to feel some sensitivity for 1 - 2 weeks after a tooth extraction surgery. For a few days following the surgery, your vet may prescribe pain relief medication for more complex procedures. 

Cats have a different way of eating than humans. They use their teeth to rip apart meat instead of chewing it. As a result, they sometimes swallow kibble whole. If your cat has had dental surgery, you should soften their kibble with warm water or switch to canned, wet food for a few days since their mouth will be sore.

Although complications after surgery are rare, it's important to monitor your cat's mouth for any signs of bleeding, swelling, or infection. You can identify these by observing redness, pus, or a bad odor. Your vet will likely schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure your cat is healing properly, and you should discuss any additional care requirements with them.

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 concerned that your cat may require a tooth extraction? Contact our Hohenwald vets to book an appointment today.

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

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