Cat Dental Health
Before discussing the cat dental health, you should know that in a perfect world, cats would brush their teeth every day just like we do.The reality is that cats cannot brush their own teeth,and many owners are not willing, too busy or don’t know how to brush their cat’s teeth.
Like humans,cats develop dental disease as plaque and tartar build up on their teeth.This can progress to gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums.
As dental disease progresses, it can cause bacteria to enter the cat’s bloodstream and affect other parts of the body. Some experts attribute the frequent occurrence of kidney disease in senior cats to long-term exposure to bacteria in the blood. Dental abscesses and infected jaw- bones may also be a result of dental disease.
Tips for cat dental health
1.Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth
The first tip for cat dental health is brushing your cat’s teeth. You can brush your cat’s teeth, and there are many different products to use on cats. If you are able to brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week, it will deter plaque and tartar buildup and therefore decrease dental disease.
Here are some tips to follow for brushing your cat’s teeth:
- Start brushing your cat’s teeth at a young age to get the cat used to it.
- Use a small bristled pet toothbrush or finger brush without toothpaste during your first attempts.
- Try to rub the cat’s teeth at the gum line two or three times a side, both upper and lower teeth.
- Add a pet toothpaste to the brush if you are meeting with success.
Do not use toothpaste made for humans on cats.Toothpaste for humans is not meant to be swallowed. Pet toothpaste can be swallowed and will not cause problems when ingested. Oral rinses or wiping with enzymatic pads are alternative methods of home dental care.
2.Other Ways to Keep Teeth Clean
The 2nd tip for cat dental health is using dry food and dental treats.
- Dry foods tend to cause less plaque buildup than canned foods, so feeding some dry food can help the teeth.
- Feline diets that are formulated to prevent plaque buildup are available and can be fed as a maintenance diet or as a treat.
- Specific dental treats are also available, but none of these products will knock the existing plaque off the teeth.
Cat Dental Health Diets
Diet selection is essential for cat dental health. Cats fed with a dry food diet have a higher oral health status, in relation to dental ailments and tartar accumulation, when compared to cats fed a wet diet.
Likewise, when cats have been fed just, or partially dry commercially prepared cat foods as a portion of their feeding plan, there is a reduction in tartar and gingivitis disorder compared to cats fed house prepared diets.
Benefits of a dry diet are due to the properties that are abrasive, such as the patterning or texture of their kibble, which mechanically scrape cat teeth and help in the elimination of plaque buildup.
The addition of dietary fiber present in high levels is successful in attaining this texture, and is useful in encouraging chewing in order to improve contact teeth.
It ought to be said, that the positive effects of some kibble on cat dental health are attained in dry pet food formulations, and aren’t exclusive to diets which focus on dental health.
3.Routine Dental Checkups
The 3rd tip for cat dental health is routine dental checkups. Cats are prone to certain gum and tooth problems that can cause serious difficulties—not the least of which is early tooth loss—unless found early and nipped in the bud.
Since every cat’s mouth and teeth have their own patterns and problems, when you have your first visit with the vet you should ask whether a once yearly dental checkup is enough for your cat.
For some cats, a yearly visit is plenty, while those with ongoing dental problems should be seen several times in a year.
4.Taking Your Cat to a Dentist
The 4th tip for cat dental health is taking your cat to a dentist. Your regular veterinarian should be able to provide routine dental examinations and care. Some veterinarians are able to perform restorations and root canals. Some can even perform orthodontics! If veterinarians choose to pursue it, they can be board-certified in dentistry.
During your cat’s annual physical exam, his teeth and gums should be examined and evaluated.Your veterinarian should let you know the condition of your cat’s teeth and if dentistry is needed.
Professional dental care
Each cat builds up plaque at a different rate, but almost all cats need to have their teeth professionally cleaned by the time they are four years old. How frequently the animal will need the procedure repeated varies, but many cats need their teeth cleaned every year. Cats with bad gums may even need cleaning every six months.
If your veterinarian tells you your cat needs “a dental,” He is usually talking about cleaning, polishing, treating with fluoride and removing any infected, eroded or broken teeth.
These procedures are performed with the cat under general anesthesia, but as an outpatient; the cat comes to the clinic in the morning and goes home at the end of the day.Your cat’s teeth are cleaned the same way yours are, but unfortunately, cats are not willing to open up and say “ahhh.”
When dentistry is performed properly, many precautions are taken. You should discuss any fears that you have regarding the procedure with your veterinarian. Age is not a valid reason to decline a dental procedure for your cat. Bad teeth and infection are harder on the cat’s body than dentistry and anesthesia.
Even if your cat is eating well, it doesn’t mean his teeth don’t hurt. Owners frequently tell me how fabulously their cat is doing post dentistry. They say they did not realize how uncomfortable their cat was until after the procedure was performed.
The 5th tip for cat dental health is pulling teeth. When significant damage to a tooth has occurred, your veterinarian will likely recommend that it be extracted.
Unlike in humans, it is very difficult to save a cat’s damaged tooth with any type of filling material. Extractions can be performed during the same anesthesia used for the dental cleaning.A combination of hand tools and a power drill may be used to properly extract a tooth.
Cats do not have the same cosmetic need for teeth that we do, but their teeth do play a role in picking up food and holding it in their mouths.
Owners naturally are very concerned about their cat’s ability to eat if several teeth need to be removed, but believe it or not, even cats without teeth can eat dry food once their gums have healed.They can make a mess because food drops out of their mouths,but they are happy.
6.Selecting and knowing the dental disorders
The 6th tip for cat dental health is selecting the signs and dental disorders. Bad breath, drooling, a change in appetite, or picking up but then dropping food are the first clues of dental disease.
The cat may not be able to close her mouth or may be pawing at her mouth, which could be indicative of tooth pain. If you see any of these signs, a trip to the veterinarian is in order so kitty can be examined and the source of the problem can be determined.
periodontal disease is the most common infectious (caused by bacteria) disease in cats. It is estimated that 80% or more of cats between the ages of 1 and 3 years have some evidence of periodontal disease that requires treatment.
Normal teeth should be white. Gums should be light pink. While all pets have some amount of noticeable breath odor, pets with periodontal disease have noticeably disagreeable odors, from months to years of decay.
While bad breath per se is no big deal, what causes bad breath is a big deal—and a very serious problem that ultimately will shorten a pet’s life.
The bad breath is just one sign of periodontal disease and is caused by bacteria and their toxins destroying the teeth and gums. Left untreated, the bacteria and their toxins can cause serious health problems for the pet.
Periodontal disease in pets, as in people, is caused by bacteria and plaque. With time, plaque hardens and becomes the yellow-brown tartar commonly seen on the teeth. As bacteria and plaque accumulate, toxins are produced. Over time, these toxins destroy the teeth and gums.
Excess tartar, foul breath, loose teeth, bleeding teeth and gums, inflamed and reddened gums, and actual pus coming from the tooth sockets are seen as a result of severe destruction of the oral tissues of the jaw. Gingivitisstomatitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the gums and other tissues of the mouth.
The treatment depends upon the severity of the disease.
- Most pets who have early periodontal disease can be treated by their veterinarians with an ultrasonic scaling and antibiotics if needed.
- More severe disease often requires advanced dental procedures such as root canals, extractions, and gum surgery best performed by referral to a specialist.
- Often oral radiographs (x rays) will detect disease under the gums that would normally go undetected in the more severe cases.
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