Taking Care Of Your Catโ€™s Teeth

BY | October 28 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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Cats have 30 teeth and once they reach adulthood, it is not easy for them to take care of their teeth on their own. Unlike us, they cannot brush their teeth and domestic cats cannot find a replacement for chewing on grass and bones โ€“ which is their way of keeping all their teeth clean in the wilderness. Here are a few ways to establish a hygienic dental regimen for your cat. After all, you do not want kitty to go through painful and expensive surgery down the road:

  1. Be vigilant โ€“ If your catโ€™s breath is smelling foul, it is a good sign that he has serious oral problems. If you leave it untreated, it is not going to go away. Just like humans, if a cat is drooling and has bad breath, it is an indicator of tooth decay or gum disease.
  2. Schedule yearly checkups โ€“ Dental checkups are something most cat owners ignore. Regular visits to the vet are an absolute must, especially if you want to spot oral problems before they snowball into something big.
  3. Be thorough โ€“ If your cat is bleeding from the mouth (after eating dry food) or has bad breath, you need to let the vet know. Occasional bleeding of the gums is nothing to get worked up about, but if your cat suffers from a combination of bad breath and bleeding gums, accompanied by drooling, then he might need a deep cleaning or a tooth extraction.
  4. Establish a regular cleaning routine โ€“ Adult cats are resist more to having their teeth cleaned. So, it is better to start when they are young. You can get kittens used to the process by using a gauze or finger cot, along with toothpaste formulated for cats. You can also dip your finger in tuna water before you rub it on kittyโ€™s gums if you want the experience to be more pleasant.
  5. Massage their gums โ€“ Tooth decay is usually precipitated by inflamed or irritated gums. So, do not forget to massage your catโ€™s gums while you can. Not only will this promote healing, it will also strengthen the gums. If the gums are red in color, thatโ€™s a bad sign.
  6. Proper diet โ€“ Diet is a crucial factor in maintaining your catโ€™s oral health. Feed your cat a combination of dry and wet foods, and make sure that you vary the protein source on a regular basis. Fish, rabbit and beef are excellent meat choices for your cat.
  7. Treats โ€“ Tartar control chews and treats are great if given in moderation, but they are not an alternative to regular cleaning. You can try using the treats and chews as rewards for your catโ€™s good behavior while getting him used to having his teeth cleaned.

Everything You Need to Know About Cat Teeth Grinding

What is Teeth Grinding in Cats?

Teeth grinding is often associated with humans, but cats also suffer from it. The condition, also known as bruxism, is characterized by the movement of the cat's lower jaw from side to side, which produces clicking or chattering sounds. Bruxism is often associated with dental issues, but it can be an implication of a more severe health problem. The condition may be common, but definitely not normal in cats.

What causes teeth grinding in cats?

There can be multiple reasons behind bruxism in cats, but the most common cause is pain due to abnormal teeth alignment. This can lead to other issues related to their oral health, which are as follows:

  • Tooth fracture
  • Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) pain
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Inflammatory gum disease
  • Stomatitis
  • Tooth resorption
  • Oral cancer

Abnormal tooth alignment, known as malocclusion, causes friction between the upper and lower jaws, causing excruciating pain in cats. The condition is common in Persian and Siamese cats because their long pointy faces causes the upper canine teeth to protrude forward abnormally.If you hear chattering sounds made by your cat, then the problem could be feline tooth resorption. The condition causes the bony substance of cats' teeth called dentin to erode, eventually causing breakage or loss of the entire tooth. Loss of appetite is also a sign of tooth resorption in cats. The inflammation of the lining of the cat's mouth by swollen gums, ulcers, and other inflammatory diseases also cause bruxism.Gastrointestinal conditions such as pancreatitis, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, and ulcers also lead to teeth grinding in cats. In some cases, behavioral disorders are also considered probable reasons for cats to develop bruxism. Although renal failure is rare in cats, it is associated with bruxism in cats to some extent.

How to treat teeth grinding in cats?

If you see symptoms of teeth grinding in your cat, you need to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. A majority of oral issues that cause teeth grinding in cats are diagnosed by examining your cat's mouth. X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans may be required to identify the problem. Blood tests and other diagnostic procedures are needed to identify conditions occurring outside the cat's mouth. Since the condition is characterized by excruciating pain in cats, proper pain management is needed in addition to putting right the underlying causes.

How to take care of your cat's oral health?

The following are a few preventive measures that can help avoid bruxism in cats:

  • Practicing dental care at home by brushing your cat's teeth consistently
  • Feeding a balanced diet consisting of raw meat.
  • Scheduling regular visits to the vet's clinic
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