Cat Dental Care – The Facts!
Here at Leadon Vale Veterinary Centre, we advise that your cat’s dental hygiene is just as important as any other routine and preventative treatment. This is why we propose preventative cat dental care. Like humans, cats can develop a build-up of tartar, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing your cat’s teeth once or twice a day is the best option for effective oral hygiene. We encourage regular home dental care and appropriate tooth cleaning diets, including regular cat dental checks every six months. We also have products such as liquids that can be added to your cat's water to reduce plaque build-up and reduce bad breath (Halitosis) as well as veterinary dental diets. Here at Leadon Vale Veterinary Centre, our team would be happy to assist you with answering any questions you may have, as well as advising you on the recommended products or dental diets for your cat.
Symptoms of Cat Dental Disease
Cats can be very good at hiding signs of pain and often, owners aren’t aware that their cat has a dental disease; this is why our vets and nurses perform a dental check at each general consultation. Some cats with severe dental disease, root exposure, severe gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), or tooth root infections will continue to eat, showing only subtle signs that something is wrong. Catching your cat's dental disease early can reduce the number of extractions required from not noticing earlier signs and symptoms of dental disease.
Plaque can be removed by tooth brushing; however, tarter will not be removed by brushing alone; if this is already present, the best action for this is a scale and polish to remove this, followed by tooth brushing to prevent the buildup from occurring again. General anaesthesia is required for all dental procedures; however, a scale and polish procedure is much shorter with a faster recovery compared to your cat having multiple extractions.
Is Your Cat Showing Signs Of Dental Disease?Signs of Cat Dental Disease:
Bad breath (halitosis)
Visible tartar buildup on teeth
Red or inflamed gums (Gingivitis)
Bleeding from the mouth
Reluctance to eat
Chewing on one side of the mouth
Dropping food from the mouth when eating
Swelling around the mouth (from potential root abscesses)
What to Do If Your Cat Needs Dental Care?
If your cat shows any signs they are suffering from dental disease we recommend a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment.
A comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment is a detailed examination of your cat's mouth and oral health, to identify and determine any diseases prevalent, and to determine a treatment plan if necessary.
How Can Cat Dental Disease Be Prevented?
The best way to maintain healthy teeth is to brush your cat’s teeth daily. The team at Leadon Vale Veterinary Practice would be happy to help with advice on introducing this to your cat.
It can also be beneficial to have a scale and polish performed regularly to clean the teeth thoroughly. This is similar to the treatment we would receive from a dental hygienist. These are done under a short general anaesthetic as cats won’t sit in one position for a prolonged period and we must ensure their safety and the team’s safety when in the vicinity of sharp teeth!
Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORLs)
Cats also get another form of dental disease known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs). It has an unknown cause, but 75% of cats are thought to be affected. It is particularly common in cats over five years but can occur at any age.
In these lesions, part of the tooth is eaten away by the tooth itself, forming a small hole in the enamel close to the gum line. These lesions are very painful for cats and can lead to tooth fractures as they weaken the teeth. They require extraction to resolve. For more enquiries about cat dental care, contact our team.