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Cat Dental Disease

Cat Dental Services

Diseases of the teeth and gums are, unfortunately, common in cats. Studies show that up to 90% of cats four years of age and over suffer from dental disease. The top three dental diseases in cats include gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorption. All can cause discomfort and pain for our feline friends. Cats typically learn to live with this pain, thus typically do not stop eating, making it difficult for owners to be alerted of a concern. This is why it’s so important for you veterinarian to check your cat’s mouth for signs of disease at least annually, and sooner should an owner notice changes such as bad breath.

Common Feline Dental Diseases

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, and left unchecked, will progress to periodontal disease. Gingivitis (redness, swelling, or bleeding where the tooth meets the gums) is largely reversible with a deep cleaning, though if allowed to progress to periodontal disease (destruction of the tissues that attach the tooth to the soft and bony structures), is not reversible and extractions of affected teeth may be recommended at this stage.

Tooth Resorption is a process by which the tooth structure breaks down, starting from the inside of the tooth, often spreading to other parts of the tooth. This can be a painful tooth for a cat, and extraction of affected teeth may be recommended by your veterinarian. Up to 70% of cats are affected at some point in their lives by this process, yet the cause of this destructive process is unknown.

Our goal is to catch cats in the early stages of periodontal disease, so that we save teeth whenever possible. At Lone Star Animal Hospital, a dental cleaning for a cat is done under general anesthesia, to allow for full-mouth scaling of the crown of the tooth as well at at the gingival margin, polishing, dental x-rays to evaluate the tooth roots and bone, and probing for periodontal pockets, resorptive lesions, or chipped or fractured teeth. There is actually quite a lot of work done during these procedures, please feel free to ask about specific questions you may have at your appointment.

Schedule a dental exam for your cat

There are several factors that affect when your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning for your cat, including genetics, age, home dental care, and any underlying health conditions. We want to see your cat at least annually to ensure they have healthy, pain-free mouths! Click here to schedule an appointment.

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