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How To Keep Your Cat Smiling With Cat Dentistry Services

Cat Dentistry Services

When it comes to our cats, we worry about a lot of things, but how often is feline dental health at the top of the list? 

 

It may not be the first concern that comes to mind, but it’s a huge deal for your furry friend’s overall health and happiness. At Catonsville Cat Clinic, where we’ve been all about cats since 1997, we know a thing or two about keeping those kitty smiles bright. 

 

This guide is your go-to for everything from spotting when your cat’s dental health might be off and the basics of feline dental diseases to sharing some pro tips on keeping your cat’s chompers in tip-top shape. 

Symptoms of Dental Distress in Cats

Recognizing the signs of dental distress is crucial in preventing more serious health issues. Here are symptoms indicating your cat may have dental problems:

 

  • Bad breath – More than just fishy; an indication of possible dental disease.
  • Difficulty eating – Watch for changes in chewing habits or preferences for softer foods.
  • Drooling – Excessive drooling may signal pain or discomfort in the mouth.
  • Pawing at the mouth – Indicates that your cat may be experiencing dental discomfort.
  • Red or swollen gums – Often a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease.
  • Visible tartar on teeth – Brown or yellow buildup on the teeth can lead to more serious conditions.

What to Know About the Four Types of Feline Dental Disease

Understanding the specifics of feline dental diseases can greatly aid in their early detection and treatment. 

 

Here’s a deeper look into each type:

Periodontal Disease

This is the most common dental condition in cats, beginning with plaque buildup on the teeth that hardens into tartar. 

 

If left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and eventually affect the deeper structures of the tooth, including the root and bone, causing pain and tooth loss. 

 

Regular dental cleanings and home care can significantly reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORL)

FORL is a painful condition where the tooth’s hard tissues are progressively destroyed, leading to lesions that can be seen at or below the gumline. 

 

The exact cause of FORL is unknown, but it affects a significant percentage of adult cats. 

 

Affected teeth often need to be extracted to relieve pain and prevent further oral health issues.

Feline Gingivitis/Stomatitis Syndrome (FGS)

FGS is a severe inflammation of the gums and mucous membranes of the mouth, often extending beyond the teeth to the throat and oral cavity. It can be extremely painful, making it difficult for the cat to eat. 

 

The exact cause is not well understood, but it is believed to involve an abnormal immune response to plaque.

 

 Treatment often involves extensive dental cleanings, extraction of affected teeth, and ongoing management of oral health.

Fractured Teeth

Teeth can fracture as a result of trauma or chewing on hard objects. Even small fractures can expose the sensitive inner parts of the tooth, leading to pain and infection. 

 

The treatment depends on the severity of the fracture but may include extraction, root canal therapy, or capping the tooth. 

 

Regular check-ups can help identify fractures early, potentially saving the tooth and preventing further complications.

When is Surgical Removal of Teeth Necessary For Cats

Surgical removal of teeth in cats is considered a last resort, undertaken to alleviate pain and prevent the spread of infection. 

 

It becomes necessary in cases of severe periodontal disease where the tooth’s support structures are irreversibly damaged, rendering the tooth non-salvageable. 

 

In the presence of advanced Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORL), extraction is often the only option to relieve the cat’s significant discomfort. 

 

Similarly, irreparable tooth fractures that expose the tooth’s sensitive inner layers or lead to infection require removal to restore the cat’s oral health. 

 

For cats suffering from Feline Gingivitis/Stomatitis Syndrome (FGS), where extensive medical management has failed to control the condition, removing most or all of the teeth may be the best course of action to significantly reduce pain and inflammation, allowing the cat to lead a more comfortable life.

Preventative Dental Care For Cats 

The cornerstone of preventing dental issues in cats lies in regular and proactive care. Regular brushing of your cat’s teeth, using feline-specific toothpaste and toothbrushes, is one of the most effective ways to prevent plaque and tartar buildup, thereby reducing the risk of periodontal disease. 

 

Incorporating dental-friendly diets and treats can also play a significant role in maintaining oral hygiene by mechanically cleaning the teeth surfaces as the cat chews. Dental toys designed to clean the teeth through natural chewing actions can supplement these efforts. 

 

Additionally, scheduling regular veterinary check-ups, including annual dental exams, is crucial for early detection and management of potential dental problems.

Cat Dentistry Services

At Catonsville Cat Clinic, our cat dentistry services are an integral part of our wellness exams, ensuring your cat’s mouth remains healthy throughout their life. 

 

Common services include:

  • Comprehensive dental exams – Checking for any signs of dental disease.
  • Teeth cleaning – Both scaling and polishing to remove plaque and tartar.
  • X-rays – To examine below the gumline and identify hidden problems.
  • Tooth extractions – Performed with care and precision when necessary.

Schedule Your Cat’s Dental Exam Today

Don’t wait until your cat shows signs of dental distress. Regular dental care is essential to their overall health and well-being. 

 

Contact Catonsville Cat Clinic today to schedule your cat’s dental exam and take the first step towards a lifetime of healthy smiles for your feline friend.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2024 at 12:43 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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