Dental Duty: Facts About Teeth

cat teeth root canal meme

Did You Know you can tell a cat’s age by its teeth?

Just like humans, cats have “baby teeth,” or deciduous teeth in veterinary terminology. Those are 26 sharp tiny teeth and they start to  grow between the ages of two and four weeks.

  • Cats permanent teeth come in at between three and six months, this time with four extra molars at the back.
  • Unlike the molars of herbivorous animals (and humans), cats’ molars don’t have flat surfaces.
  • Cat’s sharp teeth are for cutting big chunks of muscle and connective tissue off the bones like scissors.
  • Cats jaws move only up and down.
  • While cats’ largest canine teeth have only one root, the fourth upper premolars have three roots, because they are the primary shearing teeth.
  • Cats have the fewest teeth of all common domestic animals.
  • We highly recommend a dental exam and cleaning once to twice a year.
  • In the wild, cats teeth are cleaned as they scrape over the bones and fur of their prey.
  • Cats have 3 sets of incisor teeth (12 front teeth). People have only 2 sets (8 teeth).
  • The upper and lower incisors are best  for grooming.. Cats can nibble out any tangles, burs or even parasites that may be stuck in their fur.
  • Some cats, in fact, do need braces, most common reasons include lance or saber-like canine projections of the upper canines imost often found in Persian cats.
  • Cat’s that are infected with FeLv will have white or pale gums, so a dental exam will uncover unknown health issues.
  • Fun fact: cats do not need teeth to eat dry or wet food.

 


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