Gently stretch your cat's lips far enough to insert the brush gently between the lips and gums. Many domestic cats develop dental problems as they get older, especially if they don't get professional dental work every year. Often, cats with stomatitis rub at their mouths with their paws and have decreased or absent appetites. Your veterinarian may recommend careful monitoring in cases in which lesions are limited to the tooth root and obvious discomfort is not apparent. Resorptive lesions like these can vary in severity from relatively small defects at the gum line to large defects in the enamel of the tooth crown. Excessive drooling can be a sign of a variety of diseases or injury … Cats should ideally have their teeth examined by a vet at least once every 12 months, and cats that have had dental problems should be examined once every 3-6 months depending on their condition. These conditions are caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar between the teeth and the gums. The three most common dental diseases in cats are gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorption, and the severity of each of these conditions can vary significantly. Bad breath. Plaque, a thin coat of bacteria, accumulates on the teeth, then it progresses to tartar, leading to gum inflammation. Gingivitis is a condition in which the gums around the teeth become inflamed (red, swollen, and painful). If gingivitis is not controlled, it can progress to periodontitis, a condition that eventually cannot be reversed. Dental problems are one of the most common problems vets encounter with cats. Week 1: Cats with oral cancer often drool excessively, act lethargic, drop food out of their mouths when they try to eat, paw at their mouths with their front paws, and often appear painful and lethargic. In extreme cases, a cat may lose one or more teeth. 10 Signs of Oral Problems in Cats 1. Usually, it indicates periodontal disease or infection in the mouth, but it can also mean that the cat has a systemic problem like kidney failure. Ask-a-Vet is not manned by the staff or owners of CatHealth.com, and the advice given should not delay or replace a visit to your veterinarian. Cavities in felines typically form under the gums, making them difficult to detect. Clinical Signs/Diagnosis Studies report that between 50 and 90% of cats older than four years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, but fortunately the most common forms of these diseases are largely preventable or treatable with appropriate preventive dental care and monitoring. Cat teeth are uniquely different from dogs; none of the teeth of cats have grinding surfaces. But cats can suffer from dental issues that, if unchecked, can lead to serious health problems. Given that gingivitis leads to periodontitis, most cats with periodontitis will show signs of gingivitis (redness, swelling, bleeding along the gingiva at the base of the teeth), and may also be reluctant or unwilling to eat, drool, turn their heads to the side when chewing, and develop halitosis. Some tooth fractures are not a problem for the cat, but if a break reaches the inner sensitive part of the tooth or occurs below the gum line, it needs to be treated, usually with extraction. The most common dental problem found in cats is a condition called Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL) Sometimes the FORLs are obvious (see picture above) but sometimes they are only evident from x-ray images. Stomatitis is a dental condition that occurs in some cats in which the gums become extremely inflamed and painful. So don’t skimp on your cat’s annual checkups. By the time a defect like this shows up, the tooth is already significantly damaged. 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