Nationally, February is Pet Dental Health Month. At The Cat Doctor, we are extending this time to be available from January through and March as our Dental Health Months, during which dental care is available for your cat at a considerable savings. Call us to find out more!
Dental care shouldn’t be like pulling teeth! Unfortunately, it often is. As a result, oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem affecting adult cats. An astounding 70 percent of cats over age three are showing signs of periodontal disease.
Treatment of periodontal disease requires professional cleaning. This is done under general anesthesia. Most cases of advanced periodontal disease can be prevented if detected early and treated appropriately. The plaque and calculus are removed, and the root surfaces are cleaned. This is accomplished with hand instruments as well as ultrasonic equipment. Home care is essential after professional cleaning to prevent or delay future recurrence of periodontal disease.
The American Veterinary Dental Society recommends three very important steps:
1. See your veterinarian for an oral health exam.
2. Start a dental care routine at home for your cat.
3. Get regular veterinary checkups to ensure proper oral health.
By taking care of your cat’s teeth, you’re helping care for its overall health. Regular veterinary checkups and follow-up exams are necessary to maintain good dental health, especially if home dental care is not provided or tolerated by your cat.
The signs of gingivitis:
- Red, swollen, and/or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Finicky eating habits
- Reluctance to chew hard food
Sidebar: Juvenile-onset gingivitis
As pets age, most will experience some gingivitis which, if not addressed promptly, develops into periodontitis and advanced periodontal disease. In cats, however, gingivitis can occur as young as 6 or 8 months, often times associated with little or not calculus accumulation. We call this condition “juvenile-onset gingivitis”. If left untreated, by 1 to 2 years of age, there may be irreversible periodontal disease. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but genetics may play a role, since purebred cats, especially Siamese, Abyssinians, and Persians are predisposed. Daily home care is essential in cats with this condition to avoid tooth loss.