Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital

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Guidelines for Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Healthy

Your cat Buster certainly has some impressive-looking choppers. This five-year-old tabby frequently shows off his fangs, hissing at your dog and yowling at the neighborhood cats through the window. You’d like to keep your feline housemate’s teeth healthy; and you want him to avoid harmful dental disease. In fact, he’ll visit your Lakeville, MN veterinarian tomorrow.

Perils of Periodontitis

You want Buster to escape the discomfort of periodontitis, the most frequently encountered feline dental problem. This progressive condition develops when plaque, a soft mixture of food, saliva, and bacteria, mounts an assault on your cat’s teeth and gums. Left untreated, plaque hardens into tartar, leading to tooth and root tissue irritation.

First, you might see reddish-looking gum tissues, or gingivitis. Next, abscesses or infections can endanger his unfortunate teeth. Your poor cat can suffer from bleeding, pain, knock-your-socks-off breath, and even tooth loss. Bacteria can migrate through his compromised gum tissues and into his bloodstream. In the worst case, they could attack his heart and kidneys.

Harmful “Kitty Cavities”

Cats of all stripes can also face FORLs, or feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions. Known as “kitty cavities,” these lesions develop on teeth sides near the gum lines. Over time, the cavities can wear away your cat’s tooth, perhaps even causing a fracture. A tooth pulp infection, along with severe gum inflammation, can make him very miserable.

Consistent Dental Checkups

To fend off dental disease, your vet examines Buster’s teeth during each physical checkup. He’ll treat emerging problems before they get worse. However, if your cat has trouble eating, develops atrocious breath, or begins to drool, take him to the vet immediately.

Cleaning/Polishing Appointments

If the vet finds tartar buildup or gingivitis during the exam, he’ll likely prescribe a complete dental cleaning. While your cat snoozes under anesthesia, the vet gently scrubs each tooth surface, even beneath gum lines. Your feline companion also receives a beneficial polish that smooths his tooth surfaces, making it harder for debris to accumulate there.

Regular Home Dental Care

Your Lakeville, MN veterinarian will demonstrate how to safely brush Buster’s teeth. Always use a cat-friendly toothpaste, as human paste won’t agree with his mouth and stomach.

With regular dental exams and cleanings, plus home dental care, Buster’s pearly whites should continue to stay healthy. To provide your cat with top-notch dental care, contact us for an appointment.