My cat has a gum infection (viral), and the vet recommended a complete edentation (removal of all teeth). It is very sad to see my cat with its gums bleeding almost all the time ...

The cat (spayed) is 6 years old and has good overall health.

Without judging the actual benefit for this specific problem, are there any life-long problem to be expected? Can the cat eat dry food properly after that?


2 Answers 2


Edentation, or the removal of all teeth, is a common solution to feline stomatitis when no other solution can be found. My experience with it has been entirely positive, and I've talked to several cat owners who have also had cats with stomatitis who have removed their cat's teeth and no one has ever said to me that they regret the decision. It's a relief to know that my cat is no longer in pain from eating.

Here's my experience:

My cat, Hunter, had mild stomatitis for several years when it suddenly flared so badly that his gums looked like balloons. We treated him with antibiotics (which reduced the acute flare), and then spent a few months trying several different experimental treatments my vet found in veterinary journals. Nothing helped, so we had his teeth removed.

It's been about two years, and he's been back to the vet twice for his mouth. The first time, we noticed that once the swelling in his gums went down and everything healed, he had a bone spur on his jaw. It never would have become an issue if he had his teeth, but it was poking through the gum tissue and causing irritation, so the vet opened his gums, filed it down, and stitched everything back together.

The second time, a small root was surfacing. It had probably broken off during the extraction (which was done by my general vet, not a dental specialist). The vet was able to get it out with only mild sedation (not full sleep).

His mouth is leaps and bounds better than it was, no redness or puffiness at all. He eats food just fine. He drops it a little more than he used to, so the floor is a little messier, but he'll eat a whole meal at once rather than a bite or two and walking away (we assumed that was because his mouth hurt). We feed wet and dry, and he has no problem with either.


My last cat's (Billy) teeth started to fall out when he was about 6 years old or so. Mostly due to rough-housing with the dogs or his regular vomiting from binge eating and hairballs.

Billy lived to be nearly 21 years old with only 1 canine tooth left and he ate dry food just fine. Like Zaralynda mentioned, the crunchies tended to fall out of his mouth a bit more, and Billy would drool when he was happy, but overall he had a great quality of life and having only 1 canine tooth didn't affect him at all.

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