What’s the Deal With Cat Dental Health?
As a group, cats are so interesting to learn about that it can feel like you’re exploring a whole new world. After adoption (that is, when a cat decides to welcome you into his or her life), you might feel compelled to read all you can about your new four-legged friend. There’s always a great deal to study when it comes to responsible cat ownership, and cat dental health is at the top of the list.
Beyond the Basics
Once all the necessary elements are in place and underway, such as litter box training, age-appropriate nutrition, and spaying or neutering, your cat should be introduced to the idea of having his or her teeth brushed. Younger cats may take to this procedure far better than older felines, but don’t despair! Doing this as soon as possible will go a long way toward long-term cat dental health.
It’s estimated that a majority of cats over the age of three have dental disease in one form or another. Plaque forms when saliva and food combine with the bacteria found on teeth. Eventually, plaque mineralizes and forms tartar. This, in turn, causes inflammation in the gums that surround and support the teeth, which may lead to bone loss, broken teeth, and advanced decay.
Ignoring Cat Dental Health?
Without a proactive approach, your cat’s overall health and longevity are compromised. Dental disease can cause:
- Significant oral pain
- Broken, loose, or missing teeth
Even worse, bacteria can seep out of the mouth and into your cat’s bloodstream, causing potential damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys.
The Smart Play
The best thing you can do to prevent pain and suffering is to stay ahead of the curve. First and foremost, we advise that owners of cats adhere to an annual dental exam as part of the usual wellness visit. Depending on the state of your cat’s oral health, this might include basic assessment of the teeth and gums, digital radiographs, or dental cleanings under anesthesia.
We offer the following cat dental health services:
- Professional cleaning
- Extractions, if necessary
- Minor oral surgeries
Understandably, cat owners sometimes hesitate about placing their cat under anesthesia for dental procedures. Before we proceed, we run tests to learn if a cat’s health can withstand going under and closely monitor vital signs throughout. It’s often a same-day service, and you can conveniently drop your cat off into our care for the day.
Cat Dental Health at Home
Tackling a daily dental health regimen may prove difficult at first, but if you can work your way up to a once daily routine, your cat will definitely benefit. We’re happy to help you find a cat-safe toothpaste and a small, soft toothbrush made just for small feline mouths. Likewise, we can assist you with certain dental treats and prescription oral health foods to meet your cat’s individual needs.