Feline dental problems can affect your cat’s general health. Here are five of the most common cat dental problems and treatments to restore cat dental health.
1. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by the build up of plaque on teeth and can cause inflammation of gum tissues called gingivitis. With aggressive treatment in the early stages, inflammation can be controlled and affected teeth can be saved. Treatments include removal of plaque on a yearly or semi-yearly schedule; antibiotics to control inflammation; daily brushing at home as part of regular cat dental care; oral rinses for those cats who refuse brushing; and dental diets like Iam’s Daily Dental Care, Hills T/D & Oral Care, or Friskies Dental Diet.
2. Fractured Teeth
Tooth fractures are usually caused by some kind of trauma. Exposed tooth pulp can be painful to the animal and can lead to serious infection. There are two ways to teeth fractures of the teeth-by extraction of the affected tooth-or by saving the tooth through root canal.
3. Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions
Also known as FORL, this disease causes erosion of the teeth at the gum line. It is one of the most common feline dental problems, causing drooling, refusal to eat, and general malaise, though sometimes there is no sign of illness at all. Localized cherry-red areas of gingivitis can often be found on cats suffering from this condition, causing loss of tooth enamel, exposing the pulp canal, and exposing blood vessels and nerves. Treatments include antibiotics, chlorhexidine rinses, filler material to save teeth, or as a last resort, extraction of teeth.
4. Feline Gingivitis/Stomatitis
This disease is caused by sensitivity or allergic reaction to the plaque that occurs on teeth normally. Some cats, such as Siamese cats or those whose immune systems are suppressed by disease, may be more susceptible to this disease. It can be a very painful disease that causes the animal to be irritable, aggressive, depressed, or reclusive. They can drool excessively, or have difficulty eating. Treatment includes removing plaque and keeping it off through regular dental cleanings, antibiotics, Chlorhexidine applications, daily tooth brushing at home, good nutrition with vitamin supplements, and extraction of damaged teeth.
5. Oral cancer
Any soft or bony swelling in your cat’s mouth tissues should be looked at by a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine if cancer is present because the prognosis of oral cancer is generally poor. The types of cancer that can cause dental problems in cats include squamous cell cancer, fibrosarcoma, lymphoma, and melanoma. A consultation with a veterinary oncologist should be scheduled as early as possible to implement the most up-to-date treatments available.