Gum disease treatment is available for cats and is recommended to put an end to the pain of the pet. Gum disease involves the inflammation of the gums and if left untreated, the supporting structures of the teeth will be lost.
Gum Disease in Felines
The gum disease occurs gradually and will be the consequence of plaque and tartar deposits. Plaque forms on the cat’s teeth a few hours after a meal and can be removed during brushing. If the plaque is not removed in 2 to 4 days, it will mineralize and form calculus or tartar. Tartar irritates the gums and these will become red and inflamed. Tartar can also build under the gums and will facilitate the accumulation of bacteria. Pockets of bacteria can form and the cat will have bad breath, loose teeth, pain, abscesses and possibly even bone loss.
Detecting and Grading Gum Disease
Gum disease can be detected by performing an exam of the oral cavity. The vet will have to grade the disease, to be able to establish the best course of treatment. X-rays will be performed to establish the depth of the gingival sulcus and for a clearer diagnosis. Cats with grade 1 and 2 gum disease will have tartar accumulated only above the gum line, while in the case of grade 3 and 4 gum disease, the cat will have tartar below the gum line and these conditions are not reversible.
Treatment Options for Cat Gum Disease
The cats that have grade 1 and 2 gum disease can be treated with a professional cleaning. The vet will clean and polish the teeth, remove the plaque and tartar. In some cases, an ultrasonic scaler will be used and fluoride will be applied.
If the cat has grade 3 or 4 gum disease, the treatment will be different. The teeth will require scaling and polishing, but will also require additional treatment. The vet may recommend root planning, subgingival curettage, periodontal debridement, gingivectomy, periodontal surgery, special therapeutics or tooth extraction. The vet will establish the best course of treatment judging by the x-rays and the grade of the disease.
Root Planning and Subgingival Curettage
Root planning is a complicated procedure that will level the surface of the teeth and will remove the deposits of tartar. The procedure requires special skills and additional training, so not all vets may perform this procedure.
The subgingval curettage involves removing the diseased gum cells and cleaning the connective tissue.
Periodontal Debridement for Cats
The periodontal debridement may replace a root planning and subgingival curettage. Bacteria and calculus will be removed from the tooth and its root. Ultrasonic scalers are employed.
Gingivectomy for Cats
The gingivectomy is a procedure that involves a part of the gingiva, which is often a welcoming environment for bacteria.
Special therapeutics involve placing certain substances inside the pockets that can heal the gums and stimulate the bone growth. This is a newly develop technique, recommended if there is bone loss.
In some cases, the vet will recommend tooth extraction, as the tooth may be badly damaged and there are no other means of saving it.