Dental disease, such as gum disease and fractured teeth, is seen quite frequently in veterinary practice. It can be easy to miss problems with your pet’s teeth as they are difficult to see, particularly the teeth at the back of the mouth. Although dental disease can be painful, cats don’t always show obvious signs of pain, such as reluctance to eat. It is therefore important to get them checked regularly.
We offer an oral hygiene service which may be recommended to you if your vet thinks it will benefit your cat. This involves a general anaesthetic to allow your vet to properly examine your cat’s mouth and assess how healthy and stable their teeth and gums are. They will then use an ultrasonic scaler to remove any calculus (tartar) that has built up. This may be enough, however tartar build up can lead to infections, gum disease (periodontitis) and abscesses which can often require the affected teeth to be removed. Cats can also have oral disease in the absence of tartar so your vet may recommend removing clean teeth. The final step is to polish all remaining teeth.
There is something you can do to help though. Just like humans, cats get plaque on their teeth and, just like in humans, brushing helps to remove this plaque and reduce tartar build up. Regular brushing can therefore reduce their need for dental work. Ask your vet for advice about oral hygiene, including brushing and special diets, so you can keep your cats mouth as healthy as possible.