|Studies report that between 50 and 90% of cats older than four years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, but fortunately the most common forms of these diseases are largely preventable or treatable with appropriate preventive dental care and monitoring. The three most common dental diseases in cats are gingivitis, periodontitis and stomatitis, and the severity of each of these conditions can vary significantly. Dental disease in cats can cause serious pain and discomfort, which can impact a cat’s quality of life. In many cases, dental disease causes a cat to stop eating, which leads to a variety of health problems. |
Gingivitis is a condition in which the gums around the teeth become inflamed (red, swollen, and painful). This inflammation is usually the result of a process that begins with the build-up of plaque, a film that harbours bacteria, on the teeth. Tooth crowding and insufficient oral health care may contribute to plaque accumulation. Gingivitis may also be brought on by a number of infectious or systemic diseases, including feline leukaemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline calicivirus, severe kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and autoimmune disease.
If gingivitis is not controlled, it can progress to periodontitis, a condition that eventually cannot be reversed. In periodontitis, the tissues that attach the tooth to the underlying gums and bone are weakened as a result of damaging substances produced by disease-causing bacteria and the inflammation caused by the cat’s own immune system.
Stomatitis in cats is a condition where the soft tissues in a cat’s mouth become irritated and inflamed. In a cat’s mouth, these tissues include the gums, cheeks and tongue. The inflammation can become so severe that cats will not eat. If your cat has any of the following symptoms – it’s time for a dental check up!
• Bad breath
• Ulcerated tissues
• Extensive teeth plaque
• Excessive drooling or saliva
• Fluid build-up in the gums
• Inappetence (lack of appetite)
• Weight loss
**Information courtesy of https://www.vet.cornell.edu/