Dental problems in cats can be very painful. As many as 85 percent of cats over the age of three will develop some type of dental disease, and gingivitis is the beginning stage of this. With proper care, this stage can be reversible, and our Fremont vets will help you get there.
What is gingivitis in cats?
An inflammation of the gingiva, or gum tissue that surrounds the teeth, is known as gingivitis. In severe cases, cats with gingivitis may have difficulty eating, experience excruciating pain, and need to have their teeth cleaned while sedated. Gingivitis can range in severity from moderate to severe. Mucus, dead skin cells, bacteria, food particles, and debris buildup on teeth to form plaque, which can aggravate gingivitis.
Signs of Gingivitis in Cats
Some of the most common signs of gingivitis in cats include:
- Red or swollen gums, especially around the area of the inner cheek
- Bad breath
- Plaque build-up on the surface of the teeth
- Difficulty eating or not eating at all
Causes of Gingivitis in Cats
Some of the most common causes of gingivitis in cats include:
- Old age
- Crowded teeth
- Soft Food
- Bad Dental Care
- Autoimmune Diseases
- FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)
How to Treat Gingivitis in Cats
Gingivitis treatment for cats focuses on eliminating accumulated plaque and dental calculus, as well as treating or extracting destabilized and/or diseased teeth. To address any inflammatory dental disease, routine tooth cleanings and dental x-rays should be conducted under anesthetic.
For cats suffering from stomatitis to have a comfortable mouth, their teeth are frequently extracted by a veterinarian if it is called for.
How far along your cat is with periodontal disease will dictate how often they need dental check†ups. Your veterinarian might advise a tooth extraction if your adult cat has baby (deciduous) teeth or if its teeth are overcrowded. You should plan for follow-up examinations and your veterinarian will demonstrate how to properly clean your cat's teeth.
Maintaining Your Cat's Teeth
The American Dental Association states that using toothpaste and toothbrushes designed specifically for cats can help prevent gingivitis. Cats should be brushed regularly and gradually to help them get used to the practice.
Get your cat familiar with toothbrushes and toothpaste
To help cats associate the toothpaste and toothbrush with something good, place snacks on the counter next to them. Additionally, you can help them get used to it by giving them a dab of toothpaste to lick off your finger.
Get your cat used to you touching their mouth
Put your cat's favorite clickable treat on their canine teeth. As they get used to it, begin putting it on their teeth farther and deeper. This helps you introduce the toothpaste more smoothly by acclimating them to your touching their mouth.
It should be simpler to brush your cat's teeth if they are accustomed to the toothbrush, toothpaste, and your touching their mouth. Give them a treat after you brush the gum line for 15 to 30 seconds, focusing only on the outside of the teeth.