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Cat Dental Care

Great dental health is essential for ensuring a happy and healthy dog or cat. Dental disease is the most common disease that we see in our pets and affects cats and dogs of any age. It is important to start dental care early, to set up success for oral health long term, but starting dental care at any point in your pet’s life is still going to be extremely beneficial.

What types of dental care do you offer?

For a full treatment of the mouth, we offer complete oral health assessment and procedures (or “dentistries”). These are performed under a full anesthetic, supervised by a registered veterinary technician, to ensure the best treatment for the mouth (in pets, a high-quality dental exam and cleaning cannot be performed when our patients are awake). All dental patients receive IV fluids, full anesthetic monitoring, and appropriate pain management. The teeth are scaled to remove all existing tartar and are polished to a smooth finish. If needed, radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth are performed, to assess for root changes, bone loss or evidence of disease. The veterinarian performs dental charting to evaluate each tooth. If needed, extractions are performed by the veterinarian, to remove diseased, painful, mobile or broken teeth.

What are signs of dental problems in cats?

Dental disease is one of the most common illnesses that veterinarians see in cats over three years of age – your cat may be experiencing dental disease and hiding it from you. Here are some symptoms that could indicate your cat is suffering from dental conditions such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, and cervical neck lesions also called oral resorptive lesions.

  • Decreased interest in food.
  • Appears hungry but will not attempt to eat (sniffs food and walks away).
  • Reluctance to eat or chew food.
  • Food will drop out of the mouth when attempting to eat.
  • Chews from only one side of their mouth.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Blood tinged saliva.
  • Halitosis – bad breath.
  • They may paw at their mouth or shake their head.
  • Weight loss due to the reluctance or inability to eat.
  • Prefers only canned food as this can be swallowed rather than chewed.

What is feline tooth resorption?

Feline tooth resorption starts as the loss of the tooth enamel and then results in the eventual destruction of the teeth. It is a frequent and painful dental disease process that cats encounter in their lifetime. Unfortunately, it is not yet known why tooth resorption occurs and the only known treatment is an extraction of the affected and painful teeth. Oral health is vital to monitor dental changes within your cat’s mouth and prevent this disease from taking hold.

Why is cat oral health important?

Dental disease can cause pain and infection. This can lead to trouble eating, secondary abscesses, secondary sinus infections or an overall decrease in energy and spunk. Our pets are also extremely good at hiding dental pain, so some pets won’t show any visible signs that their teeth hurt. After dental work, our patients can be happier, brighter and eat better – an indication of how much their mouths improve following dental surgery.

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