2001-Tue Mar 20 15:31:11 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Kitties benefit greatly from having healthy teeth — especially since a cat’s mouth can be a barometer for overall health.
Certain dental conditions may offer early clues about underlying medical problems, as well as the development of serious systemic conditions, such as heart disease.
To help you read some of the key signs in your pet’s mouth, Vetstreet asked Dr. Jan Bellows, DVM, incoming president of the American Veterinary Dental College, about some of the most common questions that clients ask when it comes to feline dentistry.
A. Dr. Bellows: "This behavior is usually a sign of pain. The most common cause of feline oral pain is tooth resorption, which is when the tooth starts to dissolve. It is very painful and common. About half of all cats older than 3 years old have one or more teeth affected by tooth resorption. Unfortunately, the only treatment is extraction. Other symptoms may include not grooming and not acting like her usual self."
If you suspect that your cat is experiencing mouth pain, see your veterinarian because it probably means that there’s an underlying issue. The veterinarian will conduct a tooth-by-tooth exam with dental X-rays to determine the cause.
A. "Periodontal disease commonly occurs in cats. Plaque builds up, eventually penetrates the gum line and then eats away at the ligament that attaches the tooth to the bone. Most often, foul mouth odor is a symptom of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, besides bad breath, there are few obvious signs of the disease. Treatment is usually a professional cleaning and a thorough tooth-by-tooth exam, which requires general anesthesia."
A. "Clean her teeth twice daily using a Q-tip dipped in tuna water strained from canned tuna. Rub against the area where the tooth meets the gum, as well as the tooth itself, to help prevent plaque buildup. When you’re done, refrigerate the remaining tuna water in a sealed container for later use within a week.
Some cat dental treats and diets can also help to retard plaque and tartar. You can also ask your vet about a new oral strip that can detect and monitor periodontal disease by testing the saliva."
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.