May The Floss Be With You!

May The Floss Be With You!

If dental hygiene isn’t a priority, cats can get cavities too! This condition in felines is called as periodontal disease. It is a common condition found in almost 85% of cats above three years. So if they don’t have a sweet tooth, then how do they get cavities?   

Cavities in cats are very different from the ones we tend to get. We get it because either we’re caving into our cravings a lot hence there’s invasion of bacteria or poor dental hygiene. Either lead to the decaying of the tooth. However, felines suffer from “resorption” of their teeth. It is a metabolic condition where their bodies start to absorb (melt) the structure of their tooth from within. Felines do not only suffer from resorption, there are different kinds of periodontal diseases in cats.

Let’s just sprint through all the kinds of diseases your cats could get:

  • Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs) are also known as tooth resorption. It is the most common type of periodontal disease that cats suffer from. Felines above the age of five are prone to this disease.
  • Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is a condition where the gums around the teeth get infected due to the build-up of tartar and plaque.
  • Stomatitis is a condition that affects the whole oral cavity. The inflammation begins from the gums and can be visible at the back of their mouth. It is a painful condition in felines.
  • Periodontitis is a disease where the ligaments holding the tooth are infected. It causes severe pain to felines. This condition is an advanced version/ form of periodontal disease.

Here’s our note to all pet parents -

It is crucial to get the appropriate treatment for your feline’s oral problems as soon as possible! If the disease is left untreated, it can develop into a chronic infection that could enter their bloodstream. This would then lead to the spread of disease into their internal organs causing severe damage. Oh god the sound of that is just horrifying! 

If your furry one is suffering from periodontal disease, these are the symptoms you might notice in them.

  • Mouth bleeding
  • Bad breath (Breath getting worse day by day)
  • Drooling
  • Throwing up un-chewed food
  • Nasal discharge
  • Constant pawing at their mouth
  • Eating only from one side of their mouth
  • Blood spots on the tooth or their gum line

If they are suffering from periodontal diseases, these are the changes you might notice in their body and body language…  

  • Weight loss
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Increased sleep cycles
  • Reduced daily activity
  • Constant irritation

Although we do understand that it may be challenging for you to spot the symptoms if he/she is suffering from periodontal disease. This is because felines do not display any signs of pain until they cannot handle it. Therefore, do play a game of “Eye Spy” with your furry one to understand what’s up with him/her.

While we’re addressing the cavity, I mean the elephant in the room, here are some root causes ( pun intended of course _ of periodontal disease in cats.

 There might be different reasons why a cat may suffer from such a disease. The build-up of plaque and tartar are the prime reasons in most cases. Few other causes include:

  • Change in diet
  • Lack of cleaning
  • Genetic problems (The problems can also be breed-related)
  • Tooth injury
  • Environmental influence
  • Periodontal disease can also be associated with other diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus, diabetes, feline leukemia, etc.

Your veterinarian will be the best person to guide you with the treatment for periodontal disease. To help your pet recover quickly and be his or her normal self, you must strictly follow the instructions given by your vet. The vet will also prescribe you food and treats that are specially formulated for the furry lads and ladies suffering from dental issues. If you are in search of a vet-prescribed food, treat, or medicine, you can find them here!