feline dental care

Have you ever wondered why we check your cat’s mouth and teeth during a regular wellness exam? Besides the fact that we leave no stone unturned, we look under the lips, around the gums, the tongue and throat because periodontal disease affects 85% of all adult cats. Like parasite prevention and proper nutrition, the state of your cat’s oral health and hygiene largely contributes to overall wellness and longevity. Think feline dental care is a big deal? We do, too!

Hiding Weakness

Your cat is hardwired to mask problematic symptoms as a method of self-preservation. Because of this, your cat could be suffering from painful dental problems or periodontal disease and you’d be none the wiser. That’s why we take a full account of your cat’s oral health at his or her annual (or biannual) exam. Ignoring the importance of feline dental care can be disastrous, leading to shorter life spans, painful systemic infections, emergency situations, and dental extractions.

Broad Strokes

Periodontal disease occurs when layers of plaque and tartar build up and harden on your cat’s teeth. In turn, bacteria from the plaque creates a severe inflammatory response in the gums, commonly known as gingivitis. Your cat’s heart, liver, and kidneys could suffer from life-threatening conditions if bacteria from the mouth (oral) seeps into the bloodstream. However, proper feline dental care can eliminate the possibility of receding gums, exposed roots, abscesses and a condition called FORLs (feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions).

The following symptoms may be present if your kitty has dental disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Loss of appetite or reduced appetite (this can be subtle so measure your cat’s daily food intake!)
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting, diarrhea and insidious weight loss

FORLs are extremely painful and comprise about 95% of the dental disease we see at Cat Care of Vinings! These lesions start under the gum and are undetectable initially. By the time we see red gums and pain, bad breath and “mouth shy” cats, the later stages of this condition are in process and the tooth is destroyed slowly and painfully with deeper bone infections often discovered during extraction. A cat may eat normally and act very typically at home with the family with dental disease, but we always hear that after we remove these severely diseased teeth, the cats seem suddenly “in a better mood,” or “more like the kitten they used to be.” Don’t be fooled by normal behavior and appetite at home – let us check your furry friend’s dental health with each visit to Cat Care of Vinings and head off any problems before they become severe and require extensive dental work and extractions. A good deep cleaning, fluoride treatment, and full dental x-rays do wonders and give us and you every opportunity to eliminate a very painful condition and extend both the quality and quantity time you have with your baby!