5 Common Oral Problems Found in Felines
February 4th, 2020
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums can contribute to your cat's overall health and wellbeing. With February being National Pet Dental Health Month, there is no better time to learn more about common oral health problems found in felines and how you can help. The following are five common feline oral health problems.
#1 Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of serious oral health problems and affects approximately 70 percent of cats by age 3. Without regular cleaning, plaque builds up and hardens to tartar above and below the gum line, resulting in swollen, bleeding, or irritated gums. If untreated, the condition can progress and result in bad breath, pus in the gums, fever, deterioration in the jaw bone, and even tooth loss. The infection can also affect the body's major organs. The best way to prevent gum disease is to keep up with your furry friend's routine professional dental cleanings.
#2 Tooth Resorption
Tooth resorption is a painful condition that results from biological processes that gradually destroy the tooth structure, progressing from the outer enamel along the gum line toward the center of the tooth that houses the pulp. The lesions on the teeth sometimes resemble cavities, which are rare in felines. The affected teeth will likely need removal down the road.
#3 Tooth Fractures
As cats grow older, their teeth become weaker and are susceptible to fracture. Teeth that have fractured through to the dentin or the pulp tissues will likely require extraction because the affected tooth will be very painful and will be at risk of developing an infection or a tooth root abscess.
This painful and debilitating condition happens as a result of an overactive immune system reacting to the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. It is characterized by the ulceration or inflammation of the soft tissues in your cat's mouth. While some cats respond to medical treatment and meticulous oral hygiene, the most effective treatment for this condition is usually the extraction of all the teeth.
#5 Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in cats. It can develop in various parts of the oral cavity, including the tongue, lips, gums, and the soft palate. Diagnosing and treating the condition in the early stages provides the best possible chance of a full recovery.
How Can You Prevent Oral Health Conditions in Your Cat?
The best way to manage dental disease is to prevent it in the first place through at-home brushing from birth and annual professional veterinary dental cleanings from age 1. If your cat is unwilling to allow brushing, there are dental rinses and toothpastes that help control bacteria and plaque when used as directed.
Quality, Gentle, Feline Dental Care in Kirkland, WA
Visit All About Cats Veterinary Hospital to learn more about preventative dental care for your furry friend. If you suspect your kitty has a dental problem, make sure to contact us immediately to ensure we treat any condition before it progresses. You can always count on us for purr-fectly compassionate feline care!
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