Nearly 100% of adult cats, 3 years of age or older, have some degree of dental disease. Poor oral health leads to secondary infections and has been associated with organ disease and general poor health. Here’s how to keep your cat’s teeth clean and him out of the dental chair for as long as possible.
What does Cat Dental Disease Look Like?
Not like what you would expect. Unlike humans who get blackened teeth and cavities, dental disease in cats presents itself as bad breath, tartar build up on teeth (yellowish, irregularly formed muck on and in between teeth), calculus (hardened tartar) and infected gums that look bright red where they meet the surface of the tooth. All of these signs are proof of an active infection in your cat’s mouth. As long as the bacteria are active in your cat’s mouth, they further compromise the teeth, gums and jaw bone and generally makes your cat feel ill.
Other Signs Of Potentially Serious Oral Health Problems
Cats that drop a lot of food out of their mouths while eating or eat less may be in pain due to dental disease. Drooling is also very unusual and should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Some cats have such badly abscessed teeth that pus will stain their muzzle. Cats with dental disease that receive dental cleanings behave like new pets. If you are concerned that your cat is suffering from any degree of dental disease, bring him or her in for a check up and we can make things better.
What Can You Do?
Brush your cat’s teeth. Use the video below for an idea on how it is done. Do NOT use human toothpaste which is likely to make your cat sick. Use the link below to purchase a toothbrush and some toothpaste from our online pharmacy that is favored to appeal to cats . Don’t make the process violent or forceful. Start slowly by first introducing the toothpaste to your cat on your finger. Once your cat is comfortable licking the paste, rub your finger in your cat’s mouth as he or she licks. Later, you can introduce the paste on the surface of the toothbrush and slowly start brushing your cats teeth. It is only necessary to brush the forward facing surface of the tooth. Your cat doesn’t have to spit or rinse once you are done. The paste is meant to be eaten and swallowed.
What About Dental Diets and Treats?
Nothing is better than brushing, but dental diets and treats can make a positive impact on your pet’s oral health. Dental diets like Hills TD, available by prescription at our hospital, are very effective at scraping tartar from your cat’s teeth. You can pick up a free sample at our office to see if your cat likes it and will eat it before investing in a bag. CET Chews are palatable treats that contain enzymes that have been proven to reduce the build up of tooth plaque in cats. You can purchase these over-the-counter at our practice or through our online store.