Does your kitty sometimes bite you playfully … or perhaps, not so playfully? Those little teeth are sharp! Actually, dental issues are quite common in kitties. In fact, between 50 and 90% of cats over the age of four have some form of dental disease! A Parkland, FL vet discusses Fluffy’s dental woes below.
Feline dental issues are concerning for several reasons. First and foremost, they’re very painful, and can severely affect Fluffy’s health, well-being, and quality of life. They can also cause infections, which are very dangerous that close to the brain. Dental issues can also exacerbate other health problems, such as heart disease.
Although kitties can be afflicted by many different dental issues, there are some common culprits. Periodontal disease is an inflammation and/or infection of the gums and soft tissues surrounding Fluffy’s teeth. Misalignments—or malocclusion—can be caused by deciduous tooth retention or trauma, but is often congenital. Fluffy may still be adorable with crooked teeth, but cosmetics aren’t the issue here. Misalignments can make it hard for cats to bite and chew properly. They also prevent food particles from being rinsed away, which in turn increases the chances of other issues developing. Then there is stomatitis, an extremely painful inflammation of the mouth. Other common issues include feline resorptive lesions and fractures. Ask your vet for more information.
Brushing Fluffy’s teeth is extremely effective at removing plaque, which will in turn prevent tartar buildup and decrease the likelihood of other dental issues arising. Of course, you’ll have to get your feline pal on board with the idea. Ask your vet for training tips. You can also offer your cat some kitty dental products, such as dental treats or oral flakes.
Dental problems can develop quickly in cats, and are often hard to spot. Your kitty can’t tell you if her teeth hurt, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for warning signs. Some of these include bad breath, drooling, pawing at the mouth, hypersalivation, and favoring one side of the mouth when eating. Fluffy may also lose weight, and you may notice visible swelling, sores, or tartar buildup. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything off. We also recommend having your cat’s choppers checked every year.
Do you have questions about kitty dental care? Contact us, your local Parkland, FL animal clinic, today!