Feline Dental Care
Dental care is an often overlooked, but important component, of your cat’s health care. 80% of cats have some form of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old. A good pet dental care program will provide comfort and longevity to your pet’s life as well as make them more pleasant to be around. Dogs and cats both need routine dental care.
Cats suffer from many types of dental diseases, such as:
Feline Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an oral infection caused by bacteria. It begins when bacteria form on teeth in a substance called plaque. If plaque is not removed, the plaque is calcified by the minerals in saliva to become calculus (or tartar) and it will start to move under the gum line. Once the plaque gets under the gum, it starts causing inflammation (“gingivitis”). Gingivitis is the initial, reversible form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis may be painful to your cat and may lead to premature tooth loss. If this inflammation is not controlled, the bacteria within the gingiva change to create more severe inflammation that leads to irreversible periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to bone damage and tooth loss.
Feline Tooth Resorption
Half of the cats older than three years will have at least one tooth resorption which when extended to the oral cavity is painful. Treatment is to remove the tooth and root.
Feline Oral Development Problems
- Feline Deciduous Teeth: When two teeth share the same space, the main permanent tooth is at risk. Food and debris can get caught between the teeth, making oral hygiene difficult. The teeth are at greater risk for developing periodontal disease.
- Feline Supernumerary Teeth: 2 normal permanent teeth in the same oral cavity
- Feline Rotated Teeth: Teeth that are not rotated properly within the oral cavity.
The comprehensive feline dental care at Animal Medical Center at Fort Sheridan centers around:
- Dental exams with digital X-rays
- Comprehensive dental cleanings, polishing and fluoride treatments
- Minor oral surgery including, but not limited to, tooth extractions, fistula repairs and removal of oral tumors
- Comprehensive pain management before, during and after any oral procedure that may produce discomfort, including administering local anesthesia to all surgical tooth extractions.
- Blood work to determine whether your pet is healthy to receive anesthesia
Your cat will be monitored throughout general anesthesia by our knowledgeable, well-trained technicians with the aid of digital monitoring for vital signs, and home dental care instructions and product recommendations will be provided.
Remember, it is important to your cat’s overall health care program to provide proper dental care. If your cat is experiencing any of these signs of dental disease, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.
Signs of Cat Dental Disease:
- Bad breath
- Yellow, brown, or discolored teeth
- Loose teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
- Does not play with chew toys as often
- Pain when eating
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss