It's February and Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center is celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month. We have additional Dental Health Promotions available and tons of gifts, goodies and give-aways!
Oral care is so very important to the overall health of our cats. Infected gums and teeth cause more than just pain and bad breath. Oral disease affects the entire body and contributes to heart and kidney disease as well! As members of our families, pets depend upon us to take care of them. When pets develop dental problems, they have no way of letting us know of their discomfort. Therefore, it is up to us to seek care for them.
Dentisty For Cats?
Did you know that pets suffer from many of the same oral issues as you? In fact, root canals, dental x-rays, orthodontics, crowns, caps, implants, and periodontal surgery are all available treatments within the veterinary field. Dental procedures similar to a human dental practice are performed daily in veterinary practices. How would an owner know if dental care is needed? Here are some ways:
Prevention is always the first step! Daily brushing is the ideal home care. Small, cat-sized brushes are more comfortable than a standard brush and are tolerated by many cats. Using pet specific tooth paste is important because it is safe to be swallowed, does not foam up, and tastes yummy! Click here for a great video by Cornell University that illustrates proper teeth brushing techniques and tips.
Other options that can help oral health include Hills Prescription T/D diet, a crunchy kibble diet that can be fed daily (as long as your cat has no concurrent health concerns) or as a treat. The shape and consistency of the kibble helps mechanically clean the tooth surface of plaque before it becomes tartar. Greenies Dental Treats (a new product to the clinic) and CET Dental treats are also helpful in mechanically removing tartar. All of these items are available at Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center.
Examination is imperative to determine whether home care is sufficient or if professional intervention is needed. You can help by examining your cat's teeth and oral cavity at least monthly. Periodontal disease is the most common ailment of small animals. Smell your cat's breath to determine if gum disease may be present. Foul breath is not normal and often indicates other issues. Gum problems begin when bacteria accumulates at the gumline around the tooth. Unless brushed away daily, these bacteria can lead to gingivitis, cause bleeding, and if untreated, cause tooth and jaw bone loss. Other signs you may notice are red swollen gums, tartar (a yellow or brown accumulation on the tooth surface), or loose teeth.
Take A Look:
When examining your cat's mouth, look for chips, pits or fractures on the tooth's surface. Small pieces of enamel occasionally chip off, which may cause no harm. Deeper chips may cause sensitivity in your pet if they are not treated. Notice if your cat chatters his or her mouth or jumps when you touch certain spots. If a fracture is deep you may notice a red, brown, or black spot in the middle of the tooth's surface. The spot is the pulp or root canal, which may which be open inside the mouth, eventually leading to a tooth abscess.
A Trip To The Vet:
If your home exam reveals dental issues or if you are still uncertain, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Read what happens next on our web page here.
Pets do not have to suffer the pain and discomfort of untreated broken or loose teeth or infected gums. With the help of thorough examinations, x-rays, dental care, and daily brushing, you can help your cat live a healthy life and maintain a Cheshire Cat smile!