Do Cats Broken Teeth Grow Back?

Cats have 30 adult teeth with 16 on the top jaw and 14 on the bottom. Their teeth play an important role in eating, grooming, and defending themselves. Good dental health allows cats to properly chew food, avoid pain and discomfort, and prevent more serious health issues. When cats experience problems with their teeth, like broken or decayed teeth, it can negatively impact their quality of life. Understanding the causes, signs, dangers, and treatments for broken teeth in cats is key to promoting dental health and wellbeing.

Causes of Broken Teeth in Cats

There are several common causes of broken teeth in cats:

Falls or trauma: If a cat falls from a height or is hit by an object, the impact can cause teeth to fracture or break off. Outdoor cats that get into fights are also prone to dental injuries.

Chewing on hard objects: Cats like to sharpen their claws, which can lead to chewing on or biting hard surfaces like wood or metal. These hard objects can easily chip or crack teeth.

Chewing on bones: Raw bones are sometimes given to cats as a treat. However, bone is extremely hard and chewing on it can lead to fractured teeth.

Extraction complications: Sometimes teeth can get broken during dental extraction procedures if proper care isn’t taken.

Cancer or gum disease: Feline tooth resorption, a common dental disease in cats, causes weakening of the tooth structure. Cancer affecting the mouth can also lead to compromised teeth.

Age: As cats get older, their teeth may become more brittle and prone to cracking or chipping from normal use.

No matter the cause, a broken tooth in a cat is extremely painful and requires veterinary attention and treatment.

Signs Your Cat Has a Broken Tooth

There are several signs that may indicate your cat has a broken tooth:

Drooling – Excessive drooling or drooling on one side can signify a broken tooth causing discomfort or irritation. The drool may also contain traces of blood.

Bad Breath – Foul odor from the mouth may be a sign of an infected broken tooth. Bacteria can enter the pulp cavity and cause an abscess.

Difficulty Eating – Your cat may show signs of pain when eating or chewing. They may eat less food, eat slowly, or drop food from their mouth. Chewing on one side can indicate a specific broken tooth.

Swollen Face – Facial swelling on one side can occur if there is an infection or abscess under a broken tooth. The swelling is often noticeable under the eye.

Other possible signs include reduced grooming, changes in temperament or vocalizing pain. It’s important to watch for changes in eating habits or behavior that may accompany a broken tooth in cats. If you suspect a fracture, veterinary examination can identify the damage.

Dangers of Broken Teeth

Broken teeth can pose several dangers and potential complications for cats, including:

Pain – Exposed dentin from a fractured tooth is very sensitive. This can cause mild to severe pain when eating or drinking anything hot, cold, or hard (VCA Hospitals). Even gentle pressure on the broken tooth can be painful.

Infection – The pulp inside a tooth is full of nerves and blood vessels. When exposed, bacteria can enter and cause an infection known as an abscess. Left untreated, infection and inflammation can spread to the root and jawbone (Rover).

Tooth Loss – If the fracture damages the tooth down to gum level or the root, extraction may be necessary. Otherwise, infection and deterioration can lead to eventual tooth loss. This leaves gaps that allow other teeth to shift and cause bite issues (Dr Goodvet).

Prompt treatment is important to relieve pain, prevent further damage and infection, and try to save the tooth if possible.

Can Broken Cat Teeth Grow Back?

Unfortunately, the answer is no – once an adult cat’s tooth is broken or fractured, it will not grow back on its own (Dr. Good Vet, 2022). Cat teeth do not have the ability to regenerate like some animals’ teeth can. Kittens’ teeth are replaced by permanent adult teeth as they grow up, but permanent teeth lost due to damage or trauma will leave a gap.

According to veterinarians, broken or damaged teeth in adult cats will require professional veterinary treatment and will not repair themselves (Cat Art by Carey, 2013). Once the tooth structure is compromised, a tooth fracture or break will quickly lead to exposure of the sensitive inner pulp cavity of the tooth. This can become a source of pain, infection and other dental disease if not treated promptly.

While broken teeth won’t grow back on their own, there are treatments available through your veterinarian to repair or extract damaged teeth and prevent further complications. Maintaining your cat’s oral health is important to minimize dental problems that require tooth extractions.

Treatment for Broken Cat Teeth

There are several treatment options for broken cat teeth depending on the severity of the fracture:

Extraction – Removing the broken tooth entirely is sometimes the best option, especially if the tooth is severely damaged. Extractions can prevent further complications like infections in the tooth socket (Wagwalking).

Root canal – If the inner pulp of the tooth is exposed but intact, a veterinary dentist may perform a root canal to remove the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth. Then the tooth can be sealed to prevent infections (VCA Hospitals).

Vital pulp therapy – Similar to a root canal, this seals off the inner pulp of the tooth so it can heal while leaving the nerves intact (VCA).

Crowns or caps – Placing an artificial crown over the remaining part of the broken tooth can help restore structure and prevent further damage. But crowns are rarely used for cats.

Regardless of treatment, any diseased or infected tissue in the tooth socket will need to be cured before it can fully heal. Leaving a broken tooth untreated risks worsening infections and damage.

Caring for Your Cat’s Teeth

Taking good care of your cat’s teeth is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. Here are some tips for caring for your cat’s teeth at home:

Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is the most effective way to remove plaque and tartar. Vets recommend brushing at least 2-3 times per week. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and cat-safe toothpaste. Introduce brushing slowly and make it a positive experience for your cat with treats and praise.

Feeding a dental diet designed to help clean your cat’s teeth is also beneficial. Look for kibble that is larger, crunchier, and specially shaped to scrape plaque. There are also dental treats made to clean teeth as your cat chews.

Take your cat for regular veterinary dental checkups, usually once a year. Your vet can spot signs of dental disease and clean your cat’s teeth professionally under anesthesia if needed.

With proper at-home care and regular vet visits, you can help keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy.

Preventing Broken Teeth

There are several things cat owners can do to help prevent broken teeth in their feline companions:

Avoid giving cats hard treats or bones that could crack or chip their teeth. Stick to soft, chewable treats made specifically for cats. Check toy packaging to make sure a toy is not advertised as indestructible or made from extremely hard materials like antlers or hooves, as these can damage teeth (FirstVet).

Monitor your cat’s chewing habits carefully, especially with new toys. Discard any toy your cat is able to tear chunks off of or that starts splintering. This will prevent tooth damage and injuries from swallowing toy pieces (VCA Hospitals).

Routine veterinary dental cleanings and exams allow your vet to identify any potential problems early before they turn into fractures. Have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year.

Finally, it’s ideal to transition cats to canned food rather than dry kibble whenever possible. Canned food does not require as much chewing force, reducing stress on teeth over time.

Cost of Treating Broken Cat Teeth

Treating a broken tooth in cats can be quite expensive. The cost depends on the severity of the fracture and what treatment is needed.

For a simple fracture that only affects the enamel, just smoothing and polishing the tooth may cost around $300-500 according to Rover. However, more severe fractures that expose the pulp or root may require extraction, which can cost $800 or more.

Extraction is generally the most affordable treatment option for badly broken teeth, with costs ranging from $300-500 per tooth according to WagWalking. This involves surgically removing the damaged tooth.

Other treatments like root canals, crowns, or fillings can cost over $800 per tooth. Root canals range from $800-1,500, while crowns are $900-1,600 according to Pawlicy. Composite fillings are the most affordable at $400-800 per tooth.

In total, treating a severely fractured tooth with extraction and additional procedures can cost $1,000-3,000 according to veterinarians. Pet insurance can offset some of these high costs.


Cats can occasionally break their teeth, often due to trauma, chewing on hard objects, or underlying dental disease. Broken teeth are extremely painful for cats and need to be addressed quickly. While broken cat teeth do not grow back, there are treatments available from your veterinarian to relieve pain and restore dental function.

The most important takeaways are to watch for signs of broken teeth in your cat, such as difficulty eating, excessive drooling, and behavioral changes. Schedule a veterinary dental exam annually to catch any problems early. You can also help prevent broken teeth by feeding a diet specifically formulated for dental health, providing safe chew toys, and discouraging chewing on household objects.

With proper home care and professional veterinary treatment as needed, your cat can maintain a healthy mouth and quality of life despite experiencing a broken tooth. Be vigilant about your cat’s dental health, and act quickly if you notice any problems. Healthy teeth and gums are essential for your cat’s comfort and wellbeing.

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