Dental disease is a common teeth issues in both adult and young cats. It is estimated that around 85% of cats older than three years have some kind of dental issue. These issues can become more severe as the cat gets older, just like it is for humans.
Minor dental problems can be solved by a food for cats with teeth issues, but if this doesn’t help, make sure to visit your vet.
Dental diseases may affect cats regardless of their age. The severity of complications from dental diseases varies from one animal to another. Naturally, you’d want to strive for your kitten’s good health so it would be wise to pay attention to the following most common dental diseases in cats:
When a complex film of bacteria forms on the teeth’s surface, it’s what we know as plaque. The plaque layer won’t be visible at first, but it can be seen with the use of a disclosing solution since it’ll stain the plaque, revealing the plaque that has formed. When the plaque layers form, they usually resemble a soft, white, or gray film forming on the tooth’s surface.
Dental plaque disease happens because of the accumulated bacteria in a cat’s mouth and is one of the most common problems. In case plaque has not been treated during its formation, it will calcify and become solid, which can cause more problems. Hardened plaque becomes what is known as dental “calculus” or dental “tartar.”
Periodontal disease is the most common disease that may occur if the mineralized plaque is not treated, thus affecting the structure around the teeth. Periodontal disease is a nasty infection or inflammation of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. With the progression of the disease, the tissue will be destroyed, which will lead to the loose tooth and, ultimately, to the loss of the tooth itself.
Bacteria may spread deeper into the tooth socket, which will form an abscess or, even worse, a bone infection. The abscesses can also lead to oral pain, which none of us want our furry friends to suffer from. These bacteria will spread through your cat’s bloodstream, and it may lead to infectious endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection caused by the bacteria in your cat’s blood, which can affect the valves within the animal’s heart.
- Tooth Resorptions (FRLS)
Another common dental issue in cats is resorptive lesions, a.k.a. FRLS. The tooth dentine and enamel dissolve and leave an incredibly small hole in the cat’s tooth around the gum line or even below the line. Many times, these holes can’t be seen by the naked eye, but they can cause severe pain, which may result in your cat’s strange behavior.
In case this issue is left untreated, it may cause the tooth’s crown to break off, leaving only parts of the tooth’s root behind. It’s necessary to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible, and the vet will extract the entire tooth to prevent further complications.
- Inflammation Of The Gums (Gingivitis)
Gingivitis is another common dental problem from which your cat may suffer. This condition causes the inflammation of gums, making them swollen, red, and painful. The swelling is usually caused by the built-up plaque on the cat’s teeth. If plaque is not treated regularly, it will migrate deeper, where the gingiva meets the tooth’s base.
The cat’s immune system will mount a response against these bacteria, which may result in the inflammation that we refer to as gingivitis. Gingivitis may be brought about by several different systemic or infectious diseases. Some of them are severe kidney disease, feline Calicivirus, diabetes mellitus, and many others.
- Feline Viral Infections
Your feline pet’s dental health may also be at risk due to various viral infections. Some of these viral infections are also known as Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Another viral infection that may cause painful gum infections and pain along the lining of the mouth is known as Calicivirus. Your vet will need to take mouth swabs and test your cat’s blood to determine the cause.
On Dental issues, always Be There For Your Cat
Consult your veterinarian for all the details on how to maintain your cat’s dental health. Sometimes, brushing your cat’s teeth may help prevent these issues. Letting your cat have a healthy diet may also prevent these dental issues from occurring. Never delay your visit to the vet, especially when you suspect that your cat is suffering from oral pain. With enough patience, you can help your cat lead a healthy, disease-free life.