Dental disease in cats is a problem that far too many pet owners ignore or are simply not aware. How can you keep your cat’s mouth healthy? By providing regular dental care for your cat, which includes regularly brushing your cat’s teeth. Most cats can be taught to accept brushing. However, for those that simply will not, other alternatives, such as dental chews and water additives, are a possibility. Consult your veterinarian for advice about the best products to use for your cat.
Did you know that your cat can suffer from dental disease and you might not even know it? In fact, veterinarians have found that the majority of cats over three years of age already have signs of dental disease.
What types of signs might indicate that your cat has dental disease?
- Some cats may show no outward signs at all until the disease has progressed significantly!
- Cats with dental disease may drool, hesitate to eat, swallow abnormally, or may show other signs of a painful mouth such as chewing on one side rather than the other.
- Bad breath is one of the most common signs of dental disease.
- Weight loss is frequently a sign, especially if the dental condition has persisted for some time without intervention.
- Besides causing pain, dental disease can also lead to even more serious diseases for your cat, such as heart disease and kidney disease.
What kinds of dental disease can cats develop?
Cats can develop lots of different types of dental diseases, but these are the most commonly seen:
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth) can often lead to gum recession and even loss of teeth.
- Stomatitis or gingivostomatitis is an inflammation of the tissues in the mouth and can include the tongue, palate, and throat, as well as your cat’s gums. It is a painful and often quite severe condition.
- Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs) occur when your cat’s tooth or teeth are actually resorbed by specialized cells called odontoclasts. FORLs can be quite painful for your cat.
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