Preventing Gingivitis in Cats

Gingivitis in cats involves the swelling of the gum tissues and affects a large number of cats over the age of 3. The condition may affect the gum tissue under 1 tooth, but typically, it will be around several teeth. Knowing what causes gingivitis in cats can help you in finding means of preventing this condition. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to the loss of the tooth or even more complex infections in the body.

Causes of Gingivitis in Cats

The causes of gingivitis in cats should be known, so that you learn how you can better prevent gingivitis. The main causes of gingivitis in felines include the buildup of plaque and tartar. Plaque is formed a few hours after the cat eats and is made up of several bacteria. If these bacteria are not removed, they can turn into minerals, causing tartar. The tartar will make the teeth more prone to accumulation of bacteria. The bacteria can easily spread to the gums and cause inflammation. Since the blood flow to the gums is rich, the condition can become more complex shortly and the bacteria can be transported to other organs, being able to cause complications and even organ failure.

Preventing Gingivitis in Cats

Gingivitis in felines can be prevented by not allowing tartar to build up on the pet’s teeth. Tartar accumulates only if plaque is not removed in over 36 hours. The plaque can easily be removed through:

  • Daily brushing, employing a small children’s brush and feline toothpaste
  • The administration of kibble food, which is abrasive and will remove the plaque from the teeth before they can mineralize
  • The administration of chew treats that are created specifically to remove plaque deposits
  • Buying chew toys on a regular basis, which can also reduce the amount of plaque from the surface of the teeth

Research has shown that even if you don’t manage to brush your cat’s teeth on a regular basis, but administer kibble food and chew treats or toys, the cat will have fewer tartar deposits.

It is also important to schedule a yearly dental cleaning for your cat. The cleaning and polishing will eliminate any accumulated tartar and can prevent the occurrence of gum disease.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Should gingivitis occur in your cat, you will have to be able to detect the symptoms and get treatment in a timely manner to prevent more advanced periodontal disease. The infection can easily spread and affect the ligaments and supporting bone around the teeth.

The symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Bad breath
  • Severe pain
  • Red gums
  • Inflamed gums
  • Drooling
  • Lack of appetite, which is caused by the fact that chewing can be painful
  • The gums may bleed
  • The gum line is receding
  • Yellow tartar buildups are visible around the gum line.

If discovered early enough, gingivitis can be treated through a descaling and a course of antibiotics.