Studies report that 50 to 90% of cats aged 4 or older live with dental disease. Your cat may be one of them. At All Cats Care Center, we’re committed to helping your kitty avoid the complications of dental conditions.
Common Feline Dental Concerns
Cats commonly suffer from gingivitis, tooth resorption, and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a bacterial infection in the gums. It begins with plaque building up on your kitty’s teeth. If the plaque is removed every year during a dental cleaning, gingivitis probably won’t develop.
If the plaque accumulates, however, it can find its way into your cat’s gums. This causes inflammation, which opens the door for bacteria to enter your cat’s bloodstream and organs.
Periodontitis is what happens when gingivitis goes untreated. In this condition, the tissues that connect your cat’s teeth to the gum and bones begin to deteriorate. This results in loose teeth that eventually fall out.
Tooth resorption is a painful condition where your kitty develops lesions in her teeth. These lesions are a sign of significant tooth damage and will only get worse unless we extract the tooth.
These dental conditions can be incredibly painful for your kitty, but she isn’t likely to let you know until the pain is almost too much to bear. Cats are good at hiding their pain! That’s why it’s crucial to bring your kitty in for yearly wellness exams.
Dental Checks, Exams, and Cleanings
During your kitty’s yearly wellness visit, we’ll check her teeth and mouth as part of our nose-to-tail exam. We also recommend a yearly dental exam, X-rays, and cleaning. These procedures are done under anesthesia.
Dental X-rays allow us to see what’s going on in the part of your cat’s mouth that we can’t see with the naked eye. Your kitty will get a thorough tooth cleaning and any extractions if needed.
If your cat does need an extraction, we’ll do a follow-up X-ray to make sure we removed 100% of the damaged tooth root.
When to Schedule a Dental Exam
We make dental care recommendations on a case-by-case basis, but we typically suggest a once-yearly dental exam for all cats. However, if your kitty shows any of these symptoms of dental distress, reach out to our office:
- Food drops out of their mouth
- Tongue drops out
- Not eating
- Bad breath
- Not interested in toys or food
Cats with bad oral health can develop a serious condition called stomatitis. This causes your kitty’s entire mouth to become painfully inflamed, and requires prompt treatment.
What to Expect With a Dental Exam
When it’s time for your kitty to get a dental exam, our team will set up an appointment. The night before the exam, you’ll need to remove food and avoid feeding your cat until after the exam. You can leave your kitty’s water out, however.
We’ll do pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure your kitty is healthy before giving her the general anesthesia.
After the procedure, our team will keep in touch with you and let you know when your kitty is ready to come home.