Why Full Mouth Extractions Give Your Cat a New (and Comfortable) Lease on Life!

cat playing with mouse toy in black and white

Why Full Mouth Extractions Give Your Cat a New (and Comfortable) Lease on Life!

As board-certified veterinarians, we do everything in our power to try and save a cat’s tooth. But sometimes, tooth extraction is the only way to protect your pet’s oral health from the effects of severe decay or serious disease. In extreme cases, a full-mouth extraction may even be necessary to prevent pain and further issues. Here’s how a full-mouth extraction can give your cat a new lease on life.


When Is Full-Mouth Extraction Necessary for Cats?

GingivitisCats can develop a severe infection of the mouth and gums called gingivostomatitis (GS) that can truly make life a holy hell for them. While veterinary dentists and researchers have yet to find a definitive reason why this painful disease occurs, we do know that removing the teeth (in most instances all of them) eliminates or drastically improves the oral inflammation.

However, it is very, very important that dental X-rays be performed after the extractions to ensure that no tooth root remnant is left behind. Otherwise, the disease process will not respond to surgery, and the pet is left to suffer unnecessarily.


Full-Mouth Extraction May Sound Scary, But it Can Save Your Cat a World of Pain

Without a proper diagnosis and complete treatment, your cat will have a miserable life. Cortisone therapy and repeat usage of antibiotics only cause further immune resistance and drain your pocketbook at the same time.  Recent studies indicate that 70% of cats respond extremely well to surgery and 20% have moderate response. Therefore, around 90% of cases respond favorably to surgery and thus is a very good cost:reward investment. The prognosis is affected by the amount of inflammation in the back of the mouth as well.

I take pain management very seriously. If your cat requires full mouth extraction, they will have a prescription for pain medication (analgesics), Full Mouth Extractionanti-inflammatory, and in some instances, a medication for neuropathic pain. Each is compounded by a local pharmacy that is palatable for your cat to take. I understand it may be difficult to administer, so palatability is especially important.


Three Important Facts About Full Mouth Extractions

Finally, there are a few ‘truths’ that you won’t believe about full mouth extractions, so here they go:

#1. If your cat liked dry food before the surgery, he/she will want to go back to hard food after the healing process.

#2. Your pet can live a very happy life not having any teeth whatsoever.  This is true for both cats AND dogs.

#3. You will have a new pet once the healing phase is complete. Your cat will start grooming themself, feeling more frisky, just like they were as a kitten.  I’ve seen it way too many times and it truly brings a wide smile to my face!  


Dr. Greenfield, DVM (Your Pet Dentist of Nashville)


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/19/2023). Photo by liang wang on Unsplash