Cat Dental Care
Tartar build-up on teeth leads to the development of dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Untreated diseases of the oral cavity are painful and can contribute to systemic diseases like heart disease.
What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?
The veterinarian will thoroughly examine the mouth, gums and each tooth surface. After, a technician will scale the teeth and polish them. A fluoride treatment is applied afterwards. We will take any necessary x-rays and extract any teeth the vet deems unhealthy.
What are the signs of dental problems in cats?
There are many ways to tell if your cat has dental problems. Cats can become picky about their food and/or have difficulty eating due to sore teeth. They are also known to drop kibble or swallow pieces whole to avoid chewing. Some cats will chatter their teeth or even seem to be grinding them. Other signs include excess salivation, pawing at their mouths, excessive head shaking and bad breath. These are all signs that your cat may be having dental problems.
Are some feline breeds more susceptible than others?
Yes, some breeds are more known for having dental problems more than others, but that is not to say that not all cats are susceptible to dental problems. More than half of all cats over the age of 3 have some dental disease.
What is feline tooth resorption?
Feline tooth resorption is a common oral abnormality. It is also known as feline oral resorptive lesions. These lesions can be found on any tooth but it predominantly affects the lower premolars. The exact cause of tooth resorption is unknown. However, it can result in the erosion of cementum (which starts at the gumline and expands upwards under the gums towards the root) and dentin (found along the gumline) into the pulp cavity inside of the affected tooth. This erosion is painful once it extends to the crown of the tooth. Exposed and sensitive dentin may cause muscle spasms or trembling of the jaw when touched. Cats are very stoic creatures and will usually suffer in silence, making these signs of tooth decay important to watch for.
Once the resorption erodes the tooth surfaces or if there is resorption of the tooth roots, extraction of the affected tooth is necessary.