Dental disease is a very common occurrence among adult cats. Even though this condition is preventable, unfortunately, most pet owners do not recognize the signs until it’s too late.
As bacteria in the mouth form plaque, it begins to stick to the surface of your cat’s teeth. The problem arises when plaque and tartar begin to build beneath the gum line. As the buildup progresses, your cat will experience damage to the tissues around the teeth and even tooth loss.
At Normandale Veterinary Hospital, we want to help you protect your cat, so we’ve put together a few dental signs to keep an eye out for. Let’s take a look.
1. Foul Breath
If you find yourself turning your head away when your cat breaths or licks you, it may be time to visit the vet. Most often, your cat’s bad breath is the result of bacteria buildup in the mouth. This might be due to gum or dental disease, so you should have it checked out promptly to avoid progressive damage.
Bacteria buildup forms plaque around your cat’s teeth, which then turns into tartar. Catching this problem early could save your cat from losing teeth.
2. Low Interest in Food
If your cat acts hungry but then refuses to eat or eats very little, it could be a sign of painful gums. As gingivitis progresses, it can cause enough pain to make chewing difficult.
You may also notice that your cat has no problem drinking water or licking food. If this is the case, gum or tooth pain is likely the culprit. If you notice your cat’s gums are red or swollen, this is a sure sign of gum disease.
3. Excessive Drooling
If your cat is drooling more than usual or exhibits blood in the saliva, it’s time to visit the vet. Blood in the saliva is a sign of advanced oral disease, and you should have your cat treated promptly.
This issue may be due to the following:
● Severe tartar buildup on the teeth or under the gum line
● Inflamed gums as a result of gingivitis
● Oral inflammatory disease, or Stomatitis
● Dental abscesses
Depending on the diagnosis, your cat may need to undergo surgery to repair the issue. It is critical that you have your cat examined as excessive drooling may be a sign of a severe infection. If left untreated, it could result in a more widespread infection that may prove fatal.
4. Brown or Yellow Deposits Around the Teeth
If you gently spread the side of your cat’s mouth open, you can take a look at both the front and back teeth. If you notice yellow or brown material on or around the teeth, your cat has excessive plaque or tartar buildup. Both are indicative of gingivitis, so you’ll need to have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned.
While you’re performing this examination, keep an eye out for black spots on the teeth as this indicates cavity development. You should also look for cracked or broken teeth and have them treated as well.
5. Shying Away From Being Touched Around the Mouth
If your cat repeatedly avoids being caressed on the side of her face, then there is every chance she is troubled by a tooth disease.
This sudden display may suggest that your hand hurts, so you must investigate further to understand what’s wrong.
Types of Cat Dental Diseases
Here are a few common cat dental diseases to be aware of. The severity of each of these conditions can vary.
If you notice some deep inflammation on your cat’s gum, this may be Stomatitis. This toot disease is usually painful and can lead to surgical procedures if not treated on time.
While Feline Stomatitis can occur more in Himalayans and Persians, this disease can affect any cat breed. Early discovery is key to successful home treatment if your cat catches this disease.
At this stage, all that may be required is to follow your vet’s prescribed treatments. However, if it’s gotten to the phase where your cat avoids food for days, then see a vet doctor for proper treatment.
Tooth resorption mostly occurs in middle-aged cats and is hard to detect without an x-ray. This problem weakens your cat’s gum lining, leaving their jaw in pain.
Your cat may still be able to eat at the early stage of this dental disease. However, closer monitoring may show you that there is a slight change in the pattern she grinds her food.
Another way to find out if our feline friend has developed this disease is if there is a sudden preference for soft foods. This sudden preference indicates that biting on hard objects causes her pains around the mouth.
Periodontal Disease can occur in cats of any age but commonly occur in cats aged three and above. This disease is caused by bacteria that feed on the plaque formed around your cat’s tooth.
Tooth plaque in cats forms from food remnants of the years. That’s why it’s recommended that you brush off plaques before they form hard around your cat’s teeth.
General Veterinary Care in Edina, Minnesota
If you suspect your cat has dental problems, Normandale Veterinary Hospital is here to serve you. We specialize in comprehensive veterinary care, including dental services and teeth cleaning.
We strive to provide high-quality, compassionate care for your pet and have been doing so for over 45 years. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 952-831-8272, or you can message us on our contact page.