Did you know dental disease is the most common disease diagnosed in cats over three years of age?
Over two-thirds of adult and geriatric cats have some type of dental disease, including gingivitis/periodontitis, tartar and ondontoclastic resorptive lesions.
Most dental disease is silent - there are no obvious symptoms. However, when dental disease progresses, or there is a major issue like a fractured or infected tooth, signs may include decreased appetite, decreased activity, dropped food, drooling and bad breath. Head shaking, pawing at the face, grinding of the teeth, and changing food preferences may also indicate dental disease.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
How do you treat dental disease? The best way to treat dental disease is to prevent it! The veterinarians at Cat Care of Rochester Hills have several recommendations to prevent dental disease:
- Have your cat examined by a veterinarian at least once per year (twice yearly for our "senior kittyzens"). The veterinarian will do a full physical exam, including an oral exam. This allows the veterinarian to catch most dental disease early and make treatment recommendations.
- Have your cat's teeth cleaned as recommended by the veterinarian. The frequency of cleanings depends on many factors, including tartar build-up, ginigivitis, presence of loose teeth or ORL's, age and overall health. Cats often need cleanings more frequently as they age, and some chronic diseases actually contribute to dental disease.
- If your cat will allow it, brush their teeth at home. Home oral care is just as important for animals as it is for humans!
- Offer your kitty tartar control treats like Hill's T/D or Greenies.
- Depending on the type of severity of dental disease, supplements and at-home treatments can significantly improve your cat's oral health (and her quality of life). These products also help decrease the frequency of cleanings!