Understanding Your Cat's Dental Needs: What You Should Watch Out For

Posted on: 9 February 2016

When most people adopt or buy a cat, they do not think about all of the potential dental or other veterinary needs they may have. In fact, most cat owners assume that cats do not require dental care or assistance. The problem is that cats can have numerous dental health issues that require the care of a cat dentist. Get to know some of these dental health issues that your cat could suffer from so that you can be sure that you take the best possible care of your cat's oral health and keep them happy and healthy for as long as possible.

Periodontal Disease (a.k.a. Gum Disease)

Gum disease is one of the conditions that many pet cats can develop without proper dental care. This dental health issue occurs through bacteria in your cat's mouth. The natural bacteria along with the bacteria they can get in their mouth through eating, drinking, and cleaning themselves can lead to the development of plaque and tartar.

If the plaque and tartar on their teeth is not removed through dental cleanings, the bacteria will continue to grow and flourish, infecting the teeth and the gums. When the gum tissue becomes infected, your cat can suffer from inflammation, pain, bleeding, or other dental problems from the infection. Periodontal disease can also cause bacterial infections elsewhere in the body if the infection gets into the bloodstream.

Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (Tooth Resorption)

Another dental health condition that affects many domestic cats is known as feline tooth resorption. Essentially, this is a condition similar to cavities in cats in which the hard outer layer of the tooth structure begins to deteriorate.

This exterior tooth structure, known as the dentin, is the protective tissue that keeps the nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside the tooth safe. As such, the deterioration of the dentin can cause pain, plaque buildup, gum tissue inflammation, and difficulty eating certain foods.

Oral exams by a cat dentist as well as regular scans and cleanings can help you detect any signs of tooth resorption in your cat so you help minimize their discomfort and accommodate their changing dietary needs. You can also prevent the tooth resorption from causing other infections in your cat's teeth or gums.

Now that you have a few ideas of the types of dental problems your cat can suffer from, you can provide them with better dental care to prevent and treat such issues as they occur.