Do cats suffer from dental issues?

By December 04 | See Comments

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Do cats suffer from dental issues?

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Yes, cats do suffer from dental issues. Dental diseases are common in cats aged above 3. Pain is the most common symptom of dental issues in a cat. He may show the pain in numerous ways –rubbing his paws over the mouth, showing obvious discomfort while chewing food, and drooling a lot. Abnormal bad breath is also a common symptom of dental issues.

If you find your cat showing an abnormal reluctance to eat, preferring moist food items to dry foods, and losing weight drastically, then he could be suffering from dental issues. Approach a vet at the earliest.

Most of the dental problems common to cats are preventable. Timely detection and early treatment can make a great difference.

Here are some common dental problems that your cat could be suffering from:

Plaque

Plaque is a layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth surface. It is not visible initially, but as it builds up, it can be seen as a thick gray or white filmy layer.

Plaque can be detected early, even when the layer is not visible by visiting a vet. A vet uses a special solution called a disclosing solution, which helps reveal plaque.

The best way to prevent plaque in cats is by maintaining their teeth clean. Cleaning teeth surface daily removes plaque and ensures healthy gums. In addition to brushing his teeth at home, schedule regular visits to the vet for professional cleaning.

When brushing your cat's teeth at home, use dental products that are designed exclusively for cats. Using human dental products is not recommended, as they can turn toxic for your feline.

Tartar

Plaque left untreated, develops into a hard layer on the teeth because substances such as calcium get deposited on the layer. This hardened layer is tartar. It is usually yellow, cream or brown.

Left undetected or untreated, tartar forms a huge hard mass that can be removed only by a dental procedure called dental scaling. A vet performs dental scaling on your cat after administering an anesthetic.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is another adverse effect of ignoring plaque build-up. In a cat suffering from gingivitis, gums surrounding the teeth get inflamed. As a result, the gums become swollen and red, which is extremely painful for the cat.

Gingivitis occurs as a result of tartar invading the gumline – the region below the gum tissue. Once tartar goes deep into the gumline, there follows a steady inflow of plaque bacteria into the region below the gumline. These bacteria cause frequent gum infections. The infection can range from mild to moderate and severe.

Treatment for gingivitis depends on the severity of the dental condition. Your vet may advise a strict brushing regimen for your cat at home, put him on antibiotics or immunosuppressive medication, or recommend a dental scaling procedure.

In serious cases, a vet may recommend the removal of the teeth that have become the source of inflammation. Given the tendency of dental issues to escalate, including brushing in your pet's routine, becomes essential. Train your cat right at a young age so that the habit sticks as he grows up. Ask your vet for guidance on introducing your feline to good oral health practices.

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