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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 – 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:
Be vigilant – If your cat’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.
Schedule yearly checkups – 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.
Be thorough – 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.
Establish a regular cleaning routine – 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 kitty’s gums if you want the
experience to be more pleasant.
Massage their gums – Tooth decay is usually
precipitated by inflamed or irritated gums. So, do not forget
to massage your cat’s gums while you can. Not only will this
promote healing, it will also strengthen the gums. If the gums
are red in color, that’s a bad sign.
Proper diet – Diet is a crucial factor in
maintaining your cat’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.
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 cat’s good behavior while getting him used to having his
Everything You Need to Know About Cat Teeth Grinding
What is Teeth Grinding in
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
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
- Tooth fracture
- Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) pain
- Mouth ulcers
- Inflammatory gum disease
- 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
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
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
- Feeding a balanced diet consisting of raw meat.
- Scheduling regular visits to the vet's clinic