Healthy teeth and gums are essential to your cat’s overall health, well-being, and longevity. Preventable dental conditions such as plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and fractured teeth can develop into pain and infection. The dental team at Codornices Veterinary Clinic is skilled in providing a variety dental services including instruction on preventive care, oral hygiene assessment, and treatment. We feature the top-of-the-line Sopix dental X-ray system to detect disease below the gumline. We often find that good oral care can give your cat a renewed level of energy and enthusiasm for life and can add years to their life!
Dental disease is a reality for most cats. By age four, many cats have significant gingivitis, and many also have periodontal disease. It is a slow progressing but serious disease that causes pain and affects the cat's overall health and well-being. Cats will not show signs of oral discomfort. Because the pain associated with dental problems comes on slowly over time, they simply learn to live with it. This is why it is important that all cats see a veterinarian annually to assess their oral health.
What Is Proper Dental Hygiene For Your Cat's Teeth?
There are several ways to ensure proper cat dental care. All of them involve diligence and commitment from you as a cat owner. Your feline friend will not tell you that dental care is needed, so it is up to you to proactively address his or her needs.
- Good nutrition is the foundation for good dental health
- If possible, establish a teeth cleaning routine when your cat is young
- Schedule semi-annual exams for cats
- Watch for signs of possible dental issues such as bad breath
- Tell your vet during the checkup about any behaviors you've noticed, or concerns you have
- Early prevention is extremely important for avoiding or treating serious dental issues
Proper cat teeth cleaning consists of an oral exam and X-rays under anesthesia in order to properly diagnose any dental disease that may be present. Most dental disease in cats occurs under the gum line. Many cats produce feline odontoclastic resorption lesions (FORL) in their teeth. These are cavity-like lesions at the neck of the tooth (where the gum meets the tooth). These lesions cause the roots to be resorbed, and they are painful. Unfortunately, your cat will naturally adapt to live with the pain these lesions cause. In these cases, the treatment usually requires extraction of the affected tooth/teeth. Not all cats are plagued with feline odontoclastic resorption lesions (FORL). Only a thorough exam involving X-rays taken by your vet can determine if your cat is living with these lesions. Treatment is curative. However, cats who produce these lesions are likely to produce more in their lifetime and will require annual care.
Other dental issues in cats include gingivitis and periodontal disease that may require medication and or dental work to alleviate the pain. The importance of annual exams cannot be underestimated. In order to remain healthy, dental care is something you should trust to your veterinarian.