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What to Do When Your Cat Loses a Tooth in a Fight

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So your cat was in a fight, and while they might have been victorious over the other cat who happened to be annoying them, they still might have lost. What did they lose exactly? Their dignity? Your respect? Perhaps. But the more pressing matter is if your cat happened to get into a scrap that was vicious enough for them to lose a tooth.

How Would You Even Know?

You might be unaware of your cat's dental problem until later. Obviously, the loss of a tooth can be painful, although it can be possible to mistake this pain for general aloofness (as in your cat seems to be in a bad mood). The issue with their tooth might only become evident when it's time to feed your cat and they're unwilling to eat, simply due to the pain it might cause. In some cases, the damage might be more obvious, such as if your cat is in noticeable distress. You might even notice bleeding from the mouth or excessive drooling.

Can You Check the Damage Yourself?

A basic visual inspection can be helpful, but be careful. Despite the pain, and despite the precarious nature of their dental health, your cat might still bite, and a cat bite can be very serious for humans. Firmly grasp your cat's head to immobilise them as much as possible while gently peeling their lips back to reveal their teeth. A missing tooth will be obvious, and even if the break is relatively clean, there will still be extensive bleeding. Your cat will require prompt veterinary dentistry treatment.

What Will Your Vet Do?

When a tooth has seemingly been lost, its base might still be intact. Although the crown has been ripped out, the tooth's root and its surrounding cementum might still be lodged in the gum. This will need to be extracted, and it's likely that your cat will be sedated for this procedure. If untreated, the site can create an entry point for oral bacteria to enter the root, leading to an abscessed tooth, much the same as with humans. Your vet might also perform an x-ray to check for potential damage to other teeth, as well as possible jaw injuries as a result of your cat's skirmish.

What Happens Next?

Once the remainder of the tooth has been surgically extracted, the site will begin to heal. Your cat's diet might need to be modified and your vet will advise you of any necessary changes. You will also likely be prescribed an antibiotic to give to your cat, and the site might need to be cleansed with an antiseptic solution (and head's up — your cat will definitely be unimpressed if this needs to happen).

The loss of a single tooth won't hugely affect your cat's daily life, but it will require treatment.

For more information, contact a veterinary dentistry service.