What to Expect after a Feline Tooth Extraction

There are a number of reasons why your cat may need a tooth extraction. The most common causes for tooth extraction in cats are tooth resorption, severe periodontal disease, stomatitis and dental trauma. If your cat needs a tooth extraction, the caring vets at Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery can help.

Tooth extraction is fairly common, and most cats need to have one or more teeth extracted in their lifetime. However, as a pet owner, tooth extraction can still be worrisome no matter how routine the procedure may be. Here’s what you should know about the procedure and recovery process if your cat needs a tooth—or teeth—removed.

When Your Cat Needs a Tooth Extraction

Periodontal Disease

Tooth extraction may not be necessary in every situation, but there are a handful of situations in which tooth extraction is the best form of treatment. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common reason for feline tooth extraction. 

When plaque and tartar build up along the teeth and the gumline, they cause a bacterial infection in the gums. This infection eventually extends under the gumline, damaging the supporting tissues of the tooth, including the bone. Teeth affected by severe periodontal disease must be extracted in order to minimize the spread of the disease. 

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Your cat might also need a tooth extraction if they have chipped or broken a tooth. In many cases, fractured teeth can be saved. If your cat has a broken tooth, it should be evaluated as soon as possible in order to avoid infection and save your kitty any potential pain that a broken tooth may cause. 


If your cat has stomatitis, they might need extraction of all their teeth. Stomatitis is a painful condition possibly caused by an over reaction to the plaque on their teeth. Affected cats frequently have large areas of painful ulcerated tissues in their mouth and throat. While this might sound scary, most cats adjust very well after a full extraction and it is a much better alternative than living with the constant pain of stomatitis.

Tooth resorption

This is the most common reason teeth are extracted in feline patients. Tooth resorption, commonly called “feline cavities” is caused by the cat’s own cells attacking their teeth.  The damaged area quickly extends into the tooth, even exposing the pulp (nerve) chamber of the tooth. Affected teeth are very painful and unfortunately, extraction of the tooth is the only option for treatment.

Feline Tooth Extraction Recovery

Most cats recover very well after tooth extractions, and you will be able to take your cat home the same day. Their recovery can be dependent on the severity of their disease and their overall health, so each cat’s recovery will be different. 


If your cat only has had only one or two teeth removed, they may be fully recovered and back to their normal selves in a day. If your cat has multiple teeth extracted or a full mouth extraction, you could be looking at a few weeks of recovery following the procedure.


During recovery, you can care for your cat and help them heal by: 

  • Allowing lots of time to rest
  • Maintaining a low stress environment in your home
  • Feeding them wet food
  • Offering plenty of liquids
  • Making sure they take all prescribed medications 

Board Certified Veterinary Dentist in Bozeman, MT

If your feline is struggling with dental pain, has a broken tooth, or is showing signs of periodontal disease, we are here to help. Dr. Tony Woodward is Montana’s only board-certified veterinary dentist, available on-site at our hospital in Bozeman. Call us today to set up an appointment.