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Healthy Paws Happy Meows: A Guide to Cat Dental Care

Cat Dental Problems: Causes and Treatment

As cat owners, we want to ensure that our beloved fur babies stay healthy and happy. One often overlooked aspect of cat health is their dental hygiene.

Just like with humans, neglecting dental health can lead to a plethora of problems, ranging from gum disease to tooth decay. In this article, we will explore the common causes of cat dental problems and the different types of treatment available to address them.

Types of Cat Dental Problems


Plaque is a common problem among cats and occurs when bacteria in the mouth attach themselves to the teeth and form a sticky film. If left untreated, plaque can harden into tartar, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

A telltale sign of plaque is bad breath. Periodontal Disease:

Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two most common types of periodontal disease that affect cats.

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, which can lead to redness, swelling, and bleeding. As the disease progresses, it can lead to periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss due to the deterioration of the tissue and bone that support the teeth.

Tooth root abscesses are another serious complication of periodontal disease and can cause severe pain for your pet. Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions:

Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions, or FORL, is a condition that affects up to 70% of cats by the time they turn five.

This condition causes the enamel of the teeth to dissolve, leading to painful cavities and tooth resorption. FORL is often diagnosed after a tooth has broken or fallen out due to the advanced stage of the condition.

Broken (or Fractured) Teeth:

Broken teeth in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, such as chewing hard objects or injury. If left untreated, a broken tooth can lead to infection and tooth root abscesses.

Dental radiographs can show the extent of the damage and help your vet determine the best course of action. Feline Stomatitis Syndrome:

Feline Stomatitis Syndrome, also known as FCGS, is an excessive immune response to the plaque and tartar that accumulate on the teeth.

This condition leads to painful inflammation of the mouth and gums, making it difficult for cats to eat and groom themselves. Tooth extraction is often the recommended form of treatment for severe cases.

Causes of Cat Dental Problems

Now that we’ve explored the various types of dental problems that affect cats, let’s take a look at the factors that contribute to their development. Here are some of the main risk factors:

Purebred Cats:

Some breeds are more prone to dental problems than others.

For example, Persians and Siamese cats are more likely to develop dental issues than mixed-breed cats. Flat-Faced Breeds:

Flat-faced cats, such as Persians and Himalayans, have shortened jaws that can lead to overcrowding and overlapping of the teeth, making them more susceptible to plaque and tartar buildup.

FeLV, FIV, Bartonellosis, Calicivirus:

These are all viral or bacterial infections that weaken the immune system, making cats more susceptible to dental disease. Kidney Disease:

Cats with kidney disease often have weakened immune systems, making them more prone to dental problems.

Diabetes Mellitus:

Like with humans, cats with diabetes are more susceptible to infections and periodontal disease. Autoimmune Disorders:

Autoimmune disorders, such as stomatitis, can cause the body to attack its own teeth and gums.

Treatment Options

The good news is that most cat dental problems can be treated, depending on the severity and stage of the condition. Here are some common treatment options:

Professional Cleaning:

Regular dental cleanings, done under anesthesia, can prevent and treat early stages of dental disease.

Tooth Extraction:

If the dental problem is severe, tooth extraction may be required to prevent further complications. Oral Surgery:

In some cases, oral surgery may be required to remove infected tissue or facilitate healing.


Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat infections caused by dental problems. Dental Diets:

Special dental diets can help to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

In conclusion, cat dental problems are a serious issue that shouldn’t be ignored. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can go a long way in preventing and treating dental disease.

Your veterinarian can provide you with guidance on how to take care of your cat’s dental health and recommend the best course of treatment for any existing dental issues. With proper care and attention, you and your feline companion can enjoy many happy and healthy years together.

Cat Dental Care Tips: Keeping Your Feline’s Teeth Healthy

As cat owners, it’s essential to take care of your pet’s dental hygiene to prevent dental problems such as plaque buildup, periodontal disease, broken teeth, and dental decay. Taking the necessary steps to maintain your cat’s dental hygiene can help you prevent expensive veterinary bills in the future.

Here are some cat dental care tips that can help maintain your pet’s teeth healthy.

Brush Regularly

Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is the most effective way to maintain their dental health. Start by using pet-safe toothpaste and an enzymatic toothpaste specially formulated for cats.

Do not use human toothpaste as it can cause stomach upsets and has a bitter taste that can make cats avoid brushing. Purchase a soft toothbrush or a finger toothbrush to get started.

If your cat is new to toothbrushing, start by introducing them to the process by letting them sniff the toothbrush and petting their face with it before you start brushing. When your cat is comfortable, apply a small amount of toothpaste on the brush and brush gently in a circular motion.

Be careful not to hurt your cat’s gums, which can be sensitive. If your cat is not comfortable with a toothbrush, you can try rubbing a little baking soda on the cat’s teeth with your finger.

This abrasive powder helps clean the plaque off your cat’s teeth. You can also try giving your cat dental treats that work to dissolve plaque and tartar.

Schedule Professional Teeth-Cleaning Appointments

While brushing regularly can help prevent dental problems, it may not be enough to maintain your cat’s dental health. Therefore, It’s essential to schedule professional teeth-cleaning appointments with your vet.

Your vet may recommend a prophylactic dental cleaning, which deep cleans your cat’s teeth and gums, and detects any oral problems early on. Professional teeth cleanings can help remove plaque and tartar buildup on your cat’s teeth, which can lead to irreversible periodontal disease and tooth decay if left untreated.

Your veterinarian will also perform a thorough oral examination to check your cat’s teeth and gums for oral problems.

How to Help Prevent Cat Dental Disease

Prevention is better than cure. These prevention tips can help maintain your cat’s dental health and prevent dental problems:

– Feed your cat dry or semi-moist food.

Wet cat food can stick to your cat’s teeth, leading to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Harder food can help scrape plaque off the teeth.

– Provide chew toys. Chewing toys, specifically designed for dental care, can help massage your cat’s gums and scrape off plaque naturally.

Make sure to supervise your cat when using these toys, especially if they tend to chew on objects. – Provide dental treats.

Dental treats approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) can help supplement your cat’s dental care routine. These treats are designed to scrape off tartar and plaque from your cat’s teeth.

– Use water additives. Water additives formulated for cats can help neutralize bacteria in your cat’s mouth and freshen their breath.

Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. – Avoid human food.

Sugary, starchy, and fatty human foods can lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your cat’s teeth. Instead, provide your cat with healthy and nutritious cat food to help maintain their dental health.

In conclusion, regular dental care is crucial to maintaining good oral health for your cat. Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly and scheduling professional teeth-cleaning appointments should be part of your cat dental care plan.

Additionally, follow the prevention tips outlined above to help keep your cat’s teeth healthy. With these tips, you can prevent dental disease and ensure that your feline friend enjoys good oral health, leading to a happy and healthy life.

In conclusion, taking care of our feline friends’ dental hygiene is critical to prevent dental problems such as plaque buildup, periodontal disease, broken teeth, and dental decay. Maintaining our pet’s dental health requires regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian, professional teeth-cleaning appointments, and regular brushing with pet-safe toothpaste and brushes.

Additional prevention tips such as providing chew toys, dental treats, and healthy food help support oral health. Keeping in mind these tips will help cat owners maintain their pet’s oral hygiene, which ultimately contributes to their overall health and life enjoyment.

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