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Cat Dental Care

Dental care is a vitally important component of your cat’s overall health. We recommend offering regular dental treats, dental diets, water additives and brushing your cat’s teeth (daily is ideal). We offer dental cleanings similar to what your dentist provides for you. We require our feline patients to go under general anesthesia for dental procedures. It allows us the ability to properly examine the inside of the mouth, thoroughly clean the teeth, take diagnostics radiographs and perform extractions (depending on the condition of the teeth).

What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?

When dental disease is already present, tooth brushing cannot reverse the process. A complete dental assessment and treatment procedure is needed to scale away the tartar, clean below the gum line, take x-rays of the tooth roots, and possibly extract any badly damaged teeth. It is all done under general anesthetic. All our patients receiving general anesthetic have an exam and blood work done prior to the procedure to ensure the anesthesia will be safe for them.

What are the signs of dental problems in cats?

A lack of appetite is usually the first sign that something might be wrong with your cat’s mouth. Other signs could include increased drooling, swelling around the mouth or below the eyes, chattering jaw, bad breath, recurrent nasal infections, or a tendency to only eat soft food. Cats are stoic creatures and often do not show any signs of poor oral health – especially if the disease has progressed slowly over time.

Are some feline breeds more susceptible than others?

All cats are susceptible to dental disease. Oriental Shorthair and Siamese cats, as well as some other purebred cats, are predisposed to dental disease.

What is feline tooth resorption?

Feline tooth resorption, also known as Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs), is the breakdown of the cat tooth above or below the gum line. This often occurs secondary to inflammation, overcrowding of teeth, or orthodontic tooth movement. The inflammation may be due to infectious disease, irritation from tartar, or sometimes for unknown reasons. The breakdown of the tooth surface is often very painful, and often cats show signs of oral pain – not eating, food falling from their mouth, increased drooling, or facial swelling. Diagnosis of FORLs may be done by exam if the tooth decay is occurring above the gum line. Often, however, x-rays of the tooth need to be done to visualize the tooth below the gum line. Most often, affected teeth should be extracted.

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