Many older cats will eventually lose one or more of their teeth as a result of disease or accident. And although it’s considered a normal part of aging, dental problems don’t have to be a part of the aging process for your cat. And it’s been said genetics also plays a big role in deciding which cats are much more likely to suffer from dental disease than other cats. But you can prevent this and more by learning how to check your cat’s teeth regularly. Here are 5 signs your cat may have gum disease:
Painful urination – It’s very hard to tell whether your cat is suffering from periodontal disease or if it’s simply having a bit of gingivitis. But one thing that’s certain is that any time your cat starts suffering from pain with urination you should take it to the vet immediately. A simple exam with a topical anesthetic and a thorough examination of the mouth can go a long way towards finding out what’s wrong. The examination will also help you rule out any medical causes such as abscesses, cancer, or other disease that’s not being treated. If your vet confirms gingivitis, then it’s just a matter of treatment.
Grooming and tooth loss – If your cat parents have tartar then they’re more at risk from developing cat dental issues. This is because the tartar coats the teeth and gums and can actually make them weaker over time. Some cats with tartar may even loose all of their teeth to the disease, which can be very painful for them. So if your cat’s parents have had any type of gum disease, be sure to treat them right away so this doesn’t become a serious problem for your cat
Bad breath – If your kitty has gingivitis or some other type of periodontal disease, then he may have bad breath as well. It’s quite common for cats with periodontal disease to develop bad breath, especially if they have a weak immune system. If your vet suspects gingivitis in your cat, she will typically recommend that he be given a cortisone shot on a regular basis to boost his immune system. You can purchase this over-the-counter at your local pet store.
Cat dental issues aren’t always caused by a disease, although they do make up a large part of the annual expenses for cat care. Sometimes, the issue can be caused by tartar build-up. If your cat has tartar, he will grind his teeth together instead of cleaning them like he should. This grind affects the sensitive nerves under the gums, and if he continues to do this, he could develop a condition called “tartar tooth”. If left untreated, this condition can lead to “permanent” damage to your cat’s teeth. Teeth loss is one of the worst effects of tartar, and it’s best for you to treat your kittens and adult cats with special enzymes toothpastes and formulas made just for the purpose of removing tartar.
The dental problems described above are only a few of the cat ailments out there. There are many more. To keep your cat healthy, you need to visit him often. Schedule an appointment every six months or so, even if you know he hasn’t had any dental work done recently. Check his teeth after he eats, and look for unusual lumps or bumps, bleeding gums, or cloudy urine.