Feline Dental Care: Common Problems & Fixes

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Feline Dental Care: Common Problems & Fixes

Dental health is a critical but often overlooked aspect of feline well-being. Just like humans, cats can experience a range of dental issues that can affect their quality of life if left untreated. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at some common dental problems in cats and explore effective strategies for prevention and treatment.

Common Dental Issues in Cats:

           Periodontal Disease: This is one of the most prevalent dental issues in cats, characterised by inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and systemic health problems such as gastritis or infection.

           Gingivitis: Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is often the precursor to periodontal disease in cats. It can cause redness, swelling, and discomfort in the gums, leading to pain and difficulty eating.

           Tooth Resorption: Also known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs), tooth resorption is a painful condition where the tooth structure is gradually broken down and absorbed by the body. It commonly affects the roots of the teeth and can lead to tooth loss.

           Plaque and Tartar Buildup: Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, which can harden into tartar if not removed through regular brushing or professional dental cleanings. Tartar buildup can contribute to gum disease and dental decay.

Prevention and Treatment:

           Early Intervention: Start dental care practices, such as tooth brushing, at a young age to acclimate your cat to the process. However, it is important to remember that not all cats will tolerate tooth brushing, so explore alternative options such as dental wipes, water additives, or dental diets recommended by your vet.

           Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Schedule annual dental check-ups with your vet to assess your cat's oral health and detect any signs of dental disease early on. Your vet may recommend professional dental cleanings under anaesthesia to remove plaque and tartar buildup and address any underlying issues.

           Dietary Management: Feed your cat a balanced diet that promotes dental health, such as dental-specific kibble or dental treats designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. These products often contain ingredients that help mechanically clean the teeth as your cat chews.

           Chew Toys and Dental Toys: Provide your cat with appropriate chew toys and dental toys that encourage chewing and help remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. Look for toys specifically designed to promote dental health and avoid those that could pose a choking hazard.

           Monitor for Signs of Dental Problems: Keep an eye out for signs of dental issues such as bad breath, swollen gums, drooling, reluctance to eat, or pawing at the mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your vet promptly for evaluation and treatment.

By understanding the common dental issues that cats face and taking proactive measures to address them, you can help your feline friend maintain optimal oral health and enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.


Paul Manktelow

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who's worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK's busiest veterinary hospitals. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.