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Dental problems in cats can be quite common especially after the age of three. Unfortunately they are not always noticeable and can go untreated for a long time before being diagnosed. Dental issues in cats that have been left untreated can lead to more serious conditions including kidney and heart disease.The best way to keep your cat safe is to regularly examine it for problems in the teeth and gums and scheduling an oral screening with the vet at least once a year. There are some signs that are an indication of dental issues in your cat and we discuss here what they are so that you can look out for them.How to tell that your cat has a dental problem
What needs to be done
- Bad breath: The number one telltale sign that your cat is experiencing some form of dental disease is foul breath. On a normal day your cat’s breath will have no odor but if you do detect a fishy or rotting smell you should look closer.
- Lack of apatite: If your cat is suddenly no longer interested in eating and there is no apparent reason why, it could be an oral problem. Painful teeth and gums could make it difficult for the cat to eat which in turn leads it to not touching its food. Also if the cat is eating only on one side or is being clumsy with its food you should pay attention. The lack of interest in food could cause your cat to lose weight drastically. If you notice your cat losing weight too fast, that could also be a sign of oral disease.
- Pawing and shaking: If you notice your cat repeatedly pawing at its mouth or shaking its head it could be experiencing some dental pain.
- Drooling: Excessive drooling is another sign of dental issues in cats and a something you need to watch out for.
Any of the above mentioned signs is an indicator that your cat might have a dental issue. Gently examine your cat to see if you can find what is bothering them. By lifting the upper lip of your cat you can observe the teeth and gums. Gums that are red and swollen, or teeth that have brown or yellow matter stuck to them are a cause for concern and you should make and appointment with your vet.Also make an appointment with your vet if you notice lose or bleeding teeth or black spots on the teeth that could be cavities. Depending on the severity of the oral disease your vet will decide on a course of action to treat the cat.Oral disease in cats can lead to more serious problems if left untreated, so if you notice any of the above signs don’t delay but see a vet at the earliest.