Causes and Risk Factors from Periodontitis
- Poor Oral Hygiene:
- Cats, known for their grooming habits, may still require assistance in maintaining oral health. Lack of regular brushing allows plaque and tartar buildup, leading to periodontal issues.
- Dietary Choices:
- Cats on a diet lacking dental-friendly elements or reliant on soft foods may miss out on the natural teeth-cleaning action that comes with chewing harder textures.
- Age and Breed:
- Older cats are more susceptible to dental problems, and certain breeds, such as Persians and Siamese, may have a genetic predisposition to dental issues.
- Systemic Diseases:
- Underlying health conditions like diabetes can compromise a cat’s immune system, making them more prone to periodontal problems.
Recognising the signs of Periodontitis
- Bad Breath (Halitosis):
- Persistent foul breath may indicate the presence of bacteria in the mouth, a common precursor to periodontal disease.
- Gum Inflammation:
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums are common indicators of inflammation and infection. These can be noticeable during routine checks or when your cat meows.
- Changes in Eating Habits:
- Cats experiencing dental pain may avoid hard foods, leading to changes in their eating habits. Pay attention if your cat starts preferring softer options.
- Excessive Drooling:
- Unusual drooling not attributed to excitement or stress can be a sign of oral discomfort.
- Regular Brushing:
- Introduce a gradual brushing routine with cat-friendly toothpaste. Start by allowing your cat to taste the toothpaste to make the experience more positive.
- Dental Diets and Treats:
- Opt for foods designed to promote dental health. Dental treats and toys can also aid in reducing plaque.
- Routine Veterinary Check-ups:
- Schedule regular dental examinations with our veterinarian, ideally at least once a year. Professional cleanings may be recommended based on your cat’s oral health.
Navigating Treatment Options for Periodontitis
- Professional Dental Cleaning:
- Periodic dental cleanings under anesthesia by our veterinarians can remove plaque and tartar buildup.
- Extraction of Affected Teeth:
- In severe cases, removing teeth that are causing pain and contributing to the infection may be necessary for the cat’s overall well-being.
- Antibiotics or pain management medications as prescribed by our vets can be part of the treatment plan to address infection and manage discomfort.
Periodontitis may be stealthy, but with awareness and proactive care, we can safeguard our cats from its grasp. Regular dental attention, a balanced diet, and swift action upon spotting signs can ensure your feline friend enjoys a healthier, happier life.
- Is periodontitis common in all cat breeds?
- Yes, all breeds of cats are susceptible to periodontitis.
- How often should I brush my cat’s teeth?
- Aim for at least 2-3 times a week. Start slowly to get your cat accustomed to the process. Use a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Can dental diets replace brushing?
- While helpful, dental diets are most effective when used in conjunction with regular brushing. They can complement oral care but not entirely replace it.
- At what age should I start dental care for my cat?
- Begin dental care routines when your cat is a kitten to establish good habits. However, it’s never too late to start, and older cats can adapt to dental care practices.
- Are there signs of oral pain in cats I should watch for?
- Yes, watch for changes in eating habits, pawing at the mouth, or increased irritability, as these can indicate oral discomfort. If you notice any of these signs, consult our veterinarians promptly.