07 Jan Three Signs Your Cat May Be Struggling with Dental Disease
As humans, we know to maintain our own dental care and oral hygiene, but don’t forget that your cat’s dental health must remain a priority as well. Unfortunately, dental disease is very common in young and old cats alike, with as many as 85 percent of cats older than three years showing signs. While humans are most prone to cavities, felines more frequently suffer from gum disease and plaque buildup, both of which lead to painful consequences.
Cats tend to hide pain and discomfort until disease has developed too far to reverse, so it’s crucial to watch for these three signs of dental disease. Caught early enough, your cat can make a full recovery.
Sign #1: Swollen Gums
This gingivitis is considered the first stage of advanced gum disease, and it’s the only stage that can be reversed to achieve a healthy mouth once again. With gingivitis, the tissue around your cat’s teeth will be inflamed and swollen, with plaque and tarter noticeable on the surface of the teeth. Treatment and future preventative measures can reduce and ultimately eliminate gingivitis so that gum disease doesn’t progress.
Sign #2: Bad Breath
Your cat’s breath is a direct reflection of her dental health. The more plaque that remains on her teeth, the more tartar will form. The bacteria and decaying food creates a very unpleasant odor that is easy to detect. Don’t ignore this as a simple nuisance, but recognize its significance. Bad breath means your cat needs dental attention to avoid future complications.
Sign #3: Lack of Interest in Food
Since dental disease causes cats such pain, many cats will avoid eating or show an obvious reluctance to eat dry food. Since moist and canned foods are easier to eat, they tend to be preferred by cats with dental problems. Your cat may even display discomfort when chewing or drop food from her mouth. These behaviors will eventually lead to noticeable weight loss.
Of course, if you notice your cat exhibiting any of these signs, it’s time to visit the veterinarian for an examination. Even in advanced situations, there’s always a course of treatment available to help your pet regain her health.