The Five Most Frequent Cat Mouth and Teeth Problems

There are several cat mouth and teeth problems that you may encounter during the life of your pet. Cat mouth foaming, cat mouth sores, cat mouth cancer, and gum disease are the four most frequent cat mouth problems you are likely to encounter. These issues may indicate a minor issue such as an emotional reaction or can indicate the presence of mouth cancer or a benign tumor. Proper dental care of your cat can help to prevent some of these issues but there is no way to guarantee that you won't encounter one or more of them at some point.

1. Cat Mouth Foaming

There are several reasons why a cat may be foaming at the mouth, from fear or pleasure to a serious disease such as mouth cancer. Some cats salivate if they are car sick or feel nauseous because they are about to throw up. Drooling is a fairly common reaction to ingesting flea spray or powder or having a reaction to an oral medication. If your cat continues drooling for more than 30 minutes for no obvious reason, it may be a sign of some serious issues.

2. An Indication of Disease or Injury

Excessive drooling can be a sign of a variety of diseases or injury in the mouth. Sometimes continued drooling indicates that an object such as a bone, tack or string has lodged itself in the mouth or wrapped itself around the tongue. Pain and nausea can cause your cat to drool so it can be an indication of problems elsewhere in the body and can also indicate exposure to toxins or caustic chemicals. Refusal to eat is another sign that the drooling is a sign of something more serious.

3. Benign Cat Mouth Sores

Cats can develop mouth sores that are either benign tumors or are referred to as ulcers or lesions. These normally occur on the lip although in rare cases are present on the cornea. The cause of these ulcers or lesions is often unknown but some small organisms, infections, scar tissue, or inflammatory cells have been identified as the culprit. They may be caused by flea and tick medications or airborne toxins and chemicals. These often respond to antibiotics or go away on their own if the cat has time away from the cause.

4. Cat Mouth Cancer

There are several types of cat mouth cancer which is a serious illness with a poor prognosis. One of the most common symptoms is drooling very foul smelling mucus and blood from the mouth often coming from a visible tumor. Another sign of mouth cancer is when a tooth comes out more easily than expected. When it is cancer, the cat will often have difficulty eating or will stop eating altogether. The cat may also sleep more than normal and may give you a look or make sounds that indicate that he is in pain and misery. To properly diagnose cancer, the vet will need to take a biopsy of the skin or tumor which may be too difficult a procedure for a very elderly or frail cat.

5. Dental and Gum Disease

More than 80% of cats will develop tooth and gum disease in their lifetime but proper dental care including daily brushing with a toothpaste and brush formulated for a cat can help avoid this problem. Drooling and extremely foul smelling breath can be a sign of tooth and gum disease.