A chat with a vet reveals the dangers of gum disease in cats and how to prevent them from spreading.
Growing up we’ve all been taught how important it is to brush our teeth daily. Well, the same goes for cats. The obvious difference being they can’t brush them themselves, that falls on the responsibility of pet owners. Cats with bad hygiene are susceptible to gum disease which is one of the most common and serious illnesses in cats.
Periodontal disease inflames tissue that surrounds and supports the structure of teeth in cats. It is caused by the build-up of plague along the gum line transformed into calculus by the combination of saliva and minerals.
Chat with a vet – Symptoms of gum disease in cats
Periodontal disease in cats usually begins with one tooth. You are able to catch and stop it from spreading if you treat it early on. The disease goes through 4 stages of development if left untreated.
- The infection is limited to one or more of the cat’s teeth. It may look like gingivitis without separation of the gum and teeth.
- When 25% of the gum loses attachment, the disease has entered stage 2.
- Stage 3 involves loss of attachment above 25% and below 30%. Beyond this point, treatment is often difficult and symptoms irreversible.
- When there is over 50% attachment loss, the cat has advanced periodontitis. The further the disease advances, the more exposed the roots of the teeth will be.
Chat with a vet – Prevention of gum disease in cats
Periodontal disease is irreversible. That’s why it’s always better to work on prevention by keeping your cat’s teeth clean from a young age. Make teeth brushing a regular activity with toothpaste and a toothbrush specially formulated for cats. Make regular appointments with the vet for dental cleanings and inspections.
Chat with a vet – Treatment of gum disease in cats
If you’ve spotted signs of inflammation, bleeding or loose teeth, you should see your vet immediately. The earlier you catch gum disease, the better your chances of treating it completely. The vet will examine your cats mouth and take an x-ray to identify the extent of loss. They’ll be able to see how much tooth density is left and sharpness of the root socket margin. After they’ve determined the stage of the disease, they’ll talk to you about the best course of treatment.