Cat Dental Care

Cat Dental Care Maybeck Animal HospitalDental disease is the most common chronic disease in cats. Unfortunately, dental health is often overlooked by cat owners as a high health priority. At Maybeck Animal Hospital, we have a strong focus on dental health in cats given its impact on the overall health of the feline patient and thorough inspection of the teeth and oral cavity is an important component to our physical examination.

Dental disease causes direct pain as the result of deep pockets, root exposure, and root infection. The gum infection that accompanies dental disease known as gingivitis, which not only in turn worsens the progression of dental disease, but it also leads to immune system suppression, predisposes to cancer, and can lead to dangerous infections of the blood stream, kidneys, and heart valves.

Over time, bone loss from dental disease and infection of the roots can lead to pathological fractures of the jaw bone itself. Dental disease in the upper arcade of teeth can lead to holes in the nasal sinuses called oronasal fistulas.

Immune Suppression

Chronic infection in the mouth places constant stress on the immune system.  For cats that live with chronic dental disease, with the immune system engaged in the subsequent constant battle a diseased mouth presents to the body, it leaves the affected cat exposed to other opportunistic infections.  When dental disease becomes painful, pain is a known stressor to the patient.  The humane implications of this are obvious, however, chronic stress also is a known factor that additionally predisposes to immune suppression.

Predisposition to Cancer

Chronic inflammation and infection anywhere in the body predisposes tissues to the development of cancer, and dental disease is no exception.  Cancers of the mouth, such as squamous cell carcinoma are not uncommonly seen in cats.  Living with chronic dental disease significantly increases the risk of development of this and other types of oral cancer in cats. 

They Suffer Silently

One of the common responses we receive from cat owners when we point out that a feline patient has dental disease is that the cat does not appear to be in pain. On the surface, the client is probably correct that the cat affected with dental disease may not be showing outward signs of pain. This is often because cats have an innate instinct to hide and internalize signs of pain or weakness. This is why very often following a dental procedure, cat owners commonly see a change in their cat’s overall demeanor, regaining pep and activity, the reduction of which was so gradual that it escaped notice, or was just chalked up to age catching up to the cat.

Offensive Breath Is Never Normal

Cat owners often joke that no cat’s breath really smells good. This is most certainly true. Kitty breath is one thing, however, offensive breath to the extent that getting within the vicinity of the cat’s mouth is assaulting to the sense of smell is abnormal. If offensive breath affects your cat, then it is time to bring him/her for a thorough oral examination, as chances are, there is significant dental disease.

Other signs that your cat may be suffering from dental disease include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Swelling of the muzzle or just below either eye
  • Pain while chewing
  • Food or water coming out of the nostrils following eating, drinking, respectively

Advanced Comprehensive Dog Denistry

At Maybeck Animal Hospital, our technicians and doctors are highly trained in advanced dentistry scaling, polish, oral surgery, and dental x-ray.  The cat anesthesia we provide for dental cleanings employs the safest anesthetics, protocols, and monitoring equipment available in the veterinary industry.  

Suspect that your cat has dental disease?  

Schedule and appointment with one of our veterinarians today!