Dental disease is a reality for most cats. In fact, by age four, many cats experience significant gingivitis and many also have periodontal disease. It is a slowly-progressing, but serious disease, that causes pain and affects the overall health and well being of your pet. That’s just one reason why dental care for cats is so important.
Cats will not show signs of oral discomfort, and because the pain associated with dental problems progresses slowly over time, they simply learn to live with it. That is why it is important that all cats see a veterinarian semi-annually to assess their oral health.
What Is Proper Dental Care for Cats?
There are several ways to ensure proper cat dental care and all of them involve diligence and commitment from you as a cat owner. Your feline friend will not tell you if he or she needs dental care, so it is up to you to proactively address their needs.
Here are some things to keep in mind regarding dental care for cats:
- Good nutrition is the foundation for good dental health;
- When possible, establish a cat teeth-cleaning routine when your cat is young;
- Schedule semi-annual exams for cats;
- Watch for signs of possible dental issues such as bad breath;
- Tell your vet during the checkup about any behaviors you’ve noticed, or concerns you have;
- Early prevention is extremely important to avoiding or treating serious dental issues.
Proper teeth-cleaning consists of an oral exam and x-rays under anesthesia in order to properly diagnose any dental disease that may be present. Most of the dental disease in cats is under the gum line.
Other dental issues in cats include gingivitis and periodontal disease that may require medication and or dental work to alleviate the pain. The importance of regular exams cannot be underestimated. In order to remain healthy, dental care is something you should trust to your veterinarian.
How Often Is It Necessary To Clean A Cat’s Teeth?
Regardless of signs or symptoms, your cat should have a dental checkup annually at a minimum. While you should be examining your cat’s teeth periodically yourself, it is easy to miss the types of problem signs that a trained and experienced veterinarian will pick up on.
It is significantly easier to address and resolve dental issues that are spotted early, compared to dental issues that go unnoticed and are allowed to further develop. Therefore, a proactive approach to dental care for cats is recommended.
Many cats will allow you to brush their teeth. You should do so daily with specially-designed brushes and feline hygiene products.
Gum Disease in Cats
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, can lead to periodontal disease if it spreads into the tooth. This affects a cat’s gums and the portions of their teeth below the gum line.
Periodontal disease is considered the most prevalent illness in cats over three years of age. However, it is also the most under-diagnosed, because many cat owners unfortunately just do not realize the importance of cat dental care. Although detection of cat gum disease can be subtle, periodic veterinary checkups can be effective in helping diagnose cat gum disease before it becomes severe.
Cat Tooth Extraction
Cat tooth extraction is necessary in several cases, including advanced stage gum disease. Advanced periodontal disease can result in the loss of viable teeth. The teeth that are severely affected should be extracted before the damage is permanent.
Cats are very adept at hiding pain and discomfort, so regular checkups are vitally important. If you want the best dental care for cats, call our office today to schedule your feline friend’s next checkup.