As the cat population ages, dental and oral health is becoming a larger issue for our feline friends. Tartar and gingivitis, periodontal disease, cavities, fractures, and ulcers are all common conditions in today’s feline. Just like in humans, preventative care is the most important step in ensuring your cat’s mouth stays clean and disease free. While your veterinarian plays an important role in oral disease prevention, good dental care begins at home. Remember that dental disease is a very painful process, and that cats are stoic animals that often hide their discomfort. Aside from the pain of toothaches, animals with dental disease are also at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss.
Tooth brushing is considered the gold standard of care in maintaining health gums and teeth. Though this may seem to be a daunting prospect, there are many tools and techniques available to make this as simple and stress free a process for you and your feline companion. Finger brushes, reward based systems, and starting young are some of the techniques helpful to get your cat familiar with the tooth brushing experience. Stop by and talk to one of our staff members for more information and some tips and tricks.
While tooth brushing may not be an option for everyone, there are other techniques available to help support your cat’s teeth. Dental kibbles are widely available, formulated with a special matrix that helps to scrub teeth to prevent plaque and tartar. Make sure the food you are using contains the AVDC Seal; this means it has been tested and shown to reduce dental disease. Drinking water supplements are also available.
All of our examinations at the Village Cat Clinic include an oral exam where our veterinarians will examine teeth, gums, lips, and other oral structures for signs of dental disease. This allows us to create specific recommendations to ensure your cat gets the best dental care possible.
For cats that have pre-existing dental disease, prophylactic cleaning and polishing is recommended. Regular cleanings and examinations for your cat can help ensure more serious procedures are avoided later in life. In more severe cases, dental surgery including extractions may be required. Some cats may even require full mouth extractions to gain relief from dental pain and inflammation. Cats can live quite happy lives with few to no teeth, and they always appreciate the relief that comes when a broken or infected tooth is removed.
Veterinarians and staff at Village Cat Clinic have undergone special training in feline dentistry. Dental surgery and tooth extractions can be long and delicate procedures on one of the most important areas of a cat’s body, and our veterinarians take dental surgery very seriously. We follow American Veterinary Dental College and American Association of Feline Practitioners guidelines and are proud to offer full dental x-rays, IV fluids, intensive pain control, and anesthesia monitoring by a Registered Veterinary Technician to all of our patients. This ensures the best possible standard of care for your feline friend. Remember that thorough and regular dental care can not only add years to your cat’s life, but add life to your cat’s years by relieving dental pain.
Come talk to our knowledgeable staff and doctors at any time with questions or concerns you may have about dental health.
Written by Dr.Matthew Kornya