Tips for Cat Teeth Care

Teeth care for your cat can be fairly simple, if you establish and follow a regular routine of at-home care, coupled with regular professional examinations and cleanings. These tips can help you keep your cat’s mouth in top shape, which is important since feline oral problems can affect more than a cat’s teeth and gums. Untreated gum disease can cause problems in a cat’s heart, kidneys or liver because the oral bacteria can travel through the cat’s bloodstream and affect the organs.

At-Home Care Requires Regular Mouth Checks and Brushings

The easiest first step toward your cat’s continued good oral health is to check her mouth daily for signs of trouble. Look for red gums, infected teeth, debris caught between the teeth or other abnormalities.

As your cat becomes accustomed to having you handle her muzzle and mouth, you can begin to brush her teeth. Cats that are more than 4 months of age will benefit from regular tooth brushing. Use a soft toothbrush and a pet dentifrice each day to remove food remnants and plaque from your cat’s teeth.

Offer your cat special dental treats to further control plaque and tartar buildup on her teeth, or your cat may benefit from a special dental diet that your veterinarian can prescribe.

Professional Cleanings Can Help Prevent Problems

You and your veterinarian can become partners in good feline oral health by each doing your part to ensure your cat’s mouth is as healthy as it can be. As an owner, you can conduct your regular mouth checks and routine brushings, while your veterinarian can help during your cat’s annual physical. Your pet should have her teeth scaled during her examination. This will require that she be anesthetized while her teeth are cleaned and polished both above and below the gumline.

Your veterinarian will also examine your cat’s teeth for signs of problems. Some of these problems will be addressed while your cat is still under anesthesia, while others may require a separate treatment. Your cat may also receive antibiotic treatments after her examination to prevent against infections caused by bacteria that the tooth cleaning procedure may have dislodged.

Tip-Offs to Feline Oral Trouble

One of the easiest ways to detect oral problems in your cat is to smell her breath. If she suddenly develops bad breath, she could have gum disease that could result in tooth loss or other health problems.

Another indication of a potential dental or gum problem is a sudden loss of interest in food. This could be caused by something painful in your cat’s mouth, such as a broken tooth or a gum abscess. If your cat suddenly stops eating, check her mouth carefully for signs of injury or disease. If you find anything out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to resolve the problem.

Unusual face rubbing or pawing at the face can also indicate a problem with your pet’s mouth. Safely restrain your cat and examine her mouth and teeth for any abnormalities. Make an appointment with your veterinarian whether you find anything unusual in your cat’s mouth because unexplained face pawing or rubbing may indicate a feline food allergy, which requires veterinary assistance to treat successfully.