If your cat experiences cat dental problems it could lead to the deterioration of their teeth and an increase in risk of oral health complications. Today, our Toledo vets discuss veterinary dentistry for cats to help prevent common cat dental issues that may arise.
Pet Dental Care For Your Cat
The oral health of your cat has a direct effect on their overall health. Your cat uses their mouth, teeth, and gums to eat and vocalize, so when its oral structures are diseased or damaged, and stop functioning properly, your cat experiences pain, which will interfere with its ability to eat and communicate normally.
You need to also be concerned with the ability of the bacteria that cause tooth decay to also make their way into your cat's body potentially causing harm to their internal organs and vital systems. Left untreated the infection and bacteria from your cat's mouth may begin to circulate throughout your pet's body, damaging organs such as their kidneys, liver, and heart and leading to more serious impacts on the overall health and longevity of your feline friend.
Signs of Potential Dental Issues in Cats
While the exact symptoms that your cat has will vary from condition to condition, there are a number of symptoms that are common among a large number of oral health concerns.
Some of these commonly seen symptoms of dental disease in cats include:
- Bad Breath (halitosis)
- Excessive drooling
- Weight loss
- Difficulty with or slow eating
- Missing or loose teeth
- Visible tartar
- Bleeding, swollen or noticeably red gums
- Pawing at their teeth or mouth
If you are concerned that your cat may be showing any of these signs you should bring them to your Toledo vet as soon as possible for examinations. The sooner your cat's dental disease is diagnosed and treated the better for your cat's long-term health.
The Common Types of Dental Conditions in Cats
There is a large list of possible oral health conditions that may affect cats but there are a few that are more common than others. These are:
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
By the time a cat reaches the age of 3, it is likely that they will be experiencing gum disease to some extent.
This disease is an infection caused by bacteria found in plaque—the soft film of bacteria and food debris that builds up on teeth over the day. If your cat's plaque isn't regularly brushed away or cleaned, it will harden and form tartar that extends below their gum life.
When the bacteria gets trapped below your cat's gum line and against their teeth, it will begin to irritate and erode the structures supporting your kitty's teeth. If untreated, periodontal disease will cause a severe infection of your cat's gums, loose and missing teeth, and organ damage as the bacteria travels throughout your pet's body.
Stomatitis (Mouth Ulcers)
Feline stomatitis is an incredibly painful inflammation and ulceration—opening of sores—of your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue.
while this can happen to any cat, this condition is especially common among Persians and Himalayans.
Cats suffering from this condition are often in extreme pain and have reduced appetites because of that. In some cases, cats will become malnourished because it is so painful for them to eat. If your cat develops a mild case, at-home care might be enough to treat their stomatitis. However, severe cases require surgical intervention.
Tooth resorption in cats describes the gradual destruction of a tooth or multiple teeth in your cat's mouth. Tooth resorption happens frequently among cats of all breeds and ages but is most common in older cats who are approaching or already into their senior years.
When a cat suffers from tooth resorption, its body begins to break down its tooth's hard outer layer, loosening it and causing pain. This destruction occurs below your cat's gum line so it can be challenging to detect without a dental x-ray. However, if your cat suddenly develops a preference for soft foods or swallows their food without chewing, they may be suffering from this condition.
Ways to Help Prevent Dental Diseases in Cats
Routine at-home dental health care including teeth brushing is the main way that you can help to prevent serious oral health concerns from developing in your cat's mouth. Your cat's teeth and gums will have a much better chance of remaining healthy if plaque is brushed or wiped away before it can cause damage or infection.
To help keep your kitty's teeth in tip-top condition bring your pet in for a professional dental examination and cleaning once a year. Vet dental services at Shoreland Animal Hospital are like taking your kitty for an appointment at the veterinary cat dentist.
To prevent oral health issues from developing in the first place, you should begin cleaning your cat's teeth and gums while they are still a kitten and will be able to quickly adjust to the process. If your cat won't allow you to clean their teeth, dental treats and foods are also available to help you keep your cat's teeth healthy.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.