Dental diseases are very common in cats. As cats use their mouth in many activities, they are bound to face some difficulties once in a while. However, they can’t explain their problems clearly to you. Therefore, it is necessary to have enough knowledge of their feline health and more particularly their dental care.
The risk of dental problems in cats is less when they are little. However, according to a study report, 50-90% of cats (aged 4 years or more) go through various dental diseases. You cannot ignore this kind of high percentage. In this article, we will discuss some basic cat tooth problems, causes, treatments, and most importantly, the prevention.
Causes of cat tooth diseases
If the plaque layer inside the mouth develops for many days, it can cause several dental problems. It is a complex coat of bacteria, which stays on the cat tooth surface.
The long time untouched version of plaque is called tartar. Plaque layer becomes harder mainly due to the phase transition of some components (like calcium). This calcified layer is tartar in dental science. Though plaque is hardly visible in primary stages, the tartar coat announces its presence with a dark yellow or brown spot on the tooth.
Cat tooth position
Unusual teeth position in cats helps to build up bacteria layer. Thus plaque and tartar grow on the teeth surface. This is because a misaligned teeth structure is difficult to clean by normal oral care like brushing.
The food habit of your cat holds a vital role in dental disease. If your cat does not chew food properly and tend to eat rough, big chunks of food, then it can promote bacteria formation.
Some short-nosed and flat-faced cat breeds (like Scottish Fold, Burmese and Exotic Shorthair) have unusual and misaligned teeth structure. Their jawbone does not support the actual accommodation of the teeth. Thus, it becomes an easy place for bacteria gathering. As a fact, these types of cats are genetically more susceptible to dental problems than other breeds.
Insufficient oral care
If you do not maintain regularity in your cat’s dental care, then all the simple causes can grow bigger. It can create further inflammation in the cat tooth.
Common dental problems of cat
There are some general dental issues in cats. Most of them start from the harmful bacteria that develop inside the mouth.
General symptoms of cat tooth infection
- Soreness in face
- Loose teeth
- Bad smell in breath
- Difficulty in chewing
- Discolored tooth
- Tartar visibility
- Lump in gums or inside the mouth
- Eating disorder
Dental disease identification
Let us have a glance at the following points. Among all the cat dental diseases, gingivitis, periodontitis, tooth root abscess, and tooth resorption happens most frequently.
- Your cat can refuse eating or can show fondness for soft and liquid foods depending on the gingivitis condition.
- In periodontitis, the tissue joints of cat tooth and gums become weak. It happens because of the harmful bacteria that damage the roots and cause infections. In extreme cases, cat tooth extraction can be the last solution.
- If your cat tends to continuous biting and chewing, then tooth abscess can occur. It can turn into serious illnesses like kidney disease, mouth trauma, and severe bacterial inflammation.
- The most common cause of tooth damage in cats is tooth resorption. Around 30-70% of cats suffer from this critical disease. It is dangerous in the sense that, after the visibility of the pinkish defect line, there is already a chance of significant tooth damage.
These facts will be clear if you go through this chart now. The table contains the causes of feline dental disease and its symptoms.
Continuous plaque formation on the teeth
The untreated version of Gingivitis
Tooth root abscess
Some Periodontal disease
- Source 1- https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/mouth/c_ct_tooth_root_abscess
- Source 2- https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-dental-disease
Treatment for gingivitis usually includes
- Cat tooth cleaning
- Antibiotics (capsule or oral freshener)
- Scaling of the plaque surface
- Immunosuppressive drugs
- Tooth extraction
However, during the scaling process, your vet can give anesthesia to your cat. Besides, tooth extraction may require in case of serious inflammation. Fortunately, at an early stage, gingivitis for a cat can be cured. However, if feline gingivitis is the underlying source of other diseases, treating the root cause first is essential.
The treatment of feline periodontitis normally requires complete oral scaling and teeth polishing. In the worst case, your veterinarian could remove one or more damaged teeth.
Tooth root abscess
The standard primary treatment for an abscess is cold packs, antibiotics, and painkillers. Your pet doctor may pump out the excess fluid around the sore area. It will prevent further inflammation. However, tooth extraction is the last option of treatment.
Managing the damaged cat tooth as much as possible is the main part of this treatment. Most of the time, it is better to remove the affected tooth. A damaged tooth can cause trouble for the other teeth. In some cases, tooth removal can be tough. Subsequently, the veterinarian may think about crown amputation.
Follow this link to know more about crown amputation in case of tooth resorption.
Dental home care tips for cat tooth
- Regular Brushing and mouth freshening procedures are the most important step in feline oral disease prevention. Brushing can prevent plaque formations to a great extent.
- If a visible amount of tartar is seen on the cat tooth, then scaling is a better option to avoid further damage.
- Try to maintain a soft food diet for your cat. It decreases the chance of plaque development.
- To maintain a healthy and strong gum, you can gently massage your kitty’s gum and tooth. It also prevents tooth loss. Once a week is sufficient.
- Use only cat toothpaste and toothbrush. We suggest Petrodex Dental Kit for Cats, Malt Flavor Toothpaste. It contains Hydrogen peroxide-producing enzymatic formula.
- It helps to wash plaque and tartar.
- There is no need to rinse off, as it does not produce foam.
- It is formulated under direct veterinarian guidance.
- Some ingredients may cause irritation for some cats.
You should be under the consultation of an expert veterinarian. A proper diagnosis once in a year is very important. Moreover, if your cat is already having dental issues, then you should visit your pet doctor more frequently. It depends on the condition of your pet.
Home remedies for cat teeth problems
Coconut oil is an ancient remedy for tooth care. It contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components. Moreover, it is an excellent natural remedy to fight against plaque and gingivitis. If you want to use coconut oil for cat tooth, one-teaspoon for every ten pounds of weight is enough. It is the amount of daily cleaning. Direct application to their gums and teeth is also helpful. Try to use virgin coconut oil always for the best output.
This component is a triple action home remedy for cat dental care. Colloidal silver fights with bacteria, viruses, and fungus at a time. Moreover, it works as an antibiotic without causing any significant side effects. Besides, it mainly works well in feline stomatitis. However, you should maintain a safe dosage for your cat. Make sure to research this product before using it on your cat. It is safe to consult your vet first.
Cat tooth is one of the sensitive and infection-prone feline body parts. Often their teeth, gums, and throat are infected and cause severe pain and uneasiness. These problems can also affect your cat’s daily routine and eating habits. If the infection gets worse, then it can lead to a more serious illness.
Dental disease is more common and more persistent in older cats. However, there is nothing to worry much if you conduct regular dental check-ups. The most frequent oral diseases are avoidable, and there are varieties of treatments.