Dental Care Basics For Cat Parents
Cats are meticulous groomers. So much so that you may assume they do not need any additional help when it comes to cleanliness. However, they can't clean their teeth. This can lead to harmful bacteria building up on the surface, which may lead to dental diseases and tooth loss.
Feline Dental Diseases
Although cats are not susceptible to cavities like humans, they can suffer from other dental issues. The most common problem in cats is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth due to food particles left behind.
If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar and can lead to a gum disease called gingivitis. Tartar underneath the gums can cause the gums to recede, eventually leading to loose teeth. It also forms pockets that can become infected with bacteria.
If left untreated, the infection can spread throughout the body and cause serious harm to major organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Symptoms Of Oral Disease In Cats
In case a cat is suffering from oral disease, it may display the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily
- Sensitivity to touch around the teeth and mouth area
- Loose teeth
- Increased salivation and drooling
- Difficulty chewing food
Basics Of Cat Dental Care
Taking measures to care for your cat's teeth can be daunting for pet owners. However, it is important to remember that dental health is essential for your cat's overall well-being. If you aren't sure how to do this, here are some tips that will help:
Dental Care At Home
Brushing your cat's teeth is the most effective way to prevent dental disease. Because the bacterial film known as "plaque" is at the heart of many dental problems, it makes sense to brush your cat's teeth to prevent plaque buildup.
Brushing every other day is enough to keep your feline's teeth healthy, but daily brushing helps protect against dental problems.
You can effectively brush your cat's teeth, but you have to be careful not to rush the procedure. Begin with letting your cat lick toothpaste from your finger, then gradually use a small brush to place it in the feline mouth and add brushing motions. It could take 1-2 months to introduce this process, but it will be worth the while.
Cat Dental Examination At Home;
When your cat is relaxed and content, gently lift the lips to examine the gums and teeth.
In addition to looking for signs of periodontal disease, look for other issues such as broken or loose teeth, discoloration, swelling, and lumps.
To make the examination process go more smoothly, you may find another person who can hold your cat while you examine its mouth. You can also help distract your cat from the discomfort of a checkup by giving it treats regularly as you carry out the examination.
Annual Dental Cleanings At The Vet
While you can help your cat maintain good dental hygiene at home, getting regular professional checkups at the vet's office is essential.
Your veterinarian can examine your cat's teeth and gums, including the areas under the gum line, more closely than you can at home. This allows him or her to remove plaque buildup that is difficult for you to reach on your own.
The Cat Clinic Is Your Best Choice For Cat Dental Care In Columbia
When your feline friend comes to The Cat Clinic for dental care in Columbia, our professional team will examine and clean their teeth while they are under general anesthesia.
We do this to ensure your pet's safety while allowing our team to perform a thorough examination. If there are any teeth that need to be extracted, we will take them out using an instrument that causes as little trauma as possible—cats generally recover well from dental extractions and can normally eat the same day.
We will monitor your cat closely, and one of our team members will be with them every step of the way. Please contact us today for more information about cat dental care or to schedule an appointment.
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