Feline Dental Disease- Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention
Cats are lovely creatures, and they make wonderful pets. They are also great at hiding their pain. If your cat suffers from dental disease, you may not even realize it until it's too late. But there are ways to tell whether your cat has a dental disease—and what you can do about it if they do.
Symptoms of Feline Dental Disease
If you suspect that your cat has dental disease, there are a few things you should do. First, look in the mouth for signs of infection or inflammation. Look at the gums for any redness or bleeding, and note how well your cat chews. Then check the teeth for tartar build-up, decay, and loose teeth. More signs of dental disease in your cat include:
- Bad Breath
- Reduced appetite
- Less Grooming
- Swelling around the face, especially the jaw area
- Missing or broken teeth (or both!)
You should visit your vet for immediate treatment if your cat shows any of these signs.
Causes of Feline Dental Disease
Common causes of feline dental disease include:
- Viral infections such as Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) may lead to prolonged and painful infection of the gums
- Stomatitis is another common cause of feline dental disease, specifically inflammation of the gums and tissue surrounding the teeth.
- The resorptive lesion is a condition that eats away at the teeth and usually starts at the gum line or below.
- Periodontitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and infection in the tissues surrounding the tooth root.
- Tartar is plaque build-up on your cat's teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease if left untreated.
- Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria on your cat's teeth when their saliva dries up and hardens on them overnight or after eating something greasy or sugary (like meat).
Prevention of Feline Dental Disease
There are several ways of preventing feline dental disease in your pet cat.
- Brush your cat's teeth regularly. You can brush your cat's teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush or use a finger brush to wipe the teeth.
- Give your cat dental gels. These are available at most pet stores and have been shown to reduce plaque and tartar build-up in the mouth by up to 75%.
- Feed your cat a healthy diet. A healthy diet helps keep the teeth and gums strong and healthy. High-quality foods that are crunchy are especially good for cleaning teeth and preventing the build-up of plaque, tartar, and bacteria on the teeth.
- Give your cat dental treats. There are many different options available for treating cats' dental issues at home, like dental chews that are designed specifically for cats' needs based on their anatomy (and therefore won't cause them any discomfort).
- Get your cat's teeth cleaned by a veterinarian regularly. Regular cleanings will help prevent disease and identify any problems early so they can be addressed before they become too severe to treat successfully and cost more money in treatment than prevention would have cost in the first place.
In conclusion, there are many causes of feline dental disease. Prevention is the best course of action and can easily be done in the comfort of your home.
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