Cats And Gingivitis

28 December 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Your cat could be at risk for dental problems like gingivitis. Gingivitis is one of the most common dental problems in cats, and it can cause serious pain and discomfort without intervention. Fortunately, if noticed early enough, your vet can treat it and prevent worse dental problems. Keep reading to learn more about cats and gingivitis, what it can lead to, and treatment options.

What Is Gingivitis in Cats? 

Gingivitis in cats is similar to gingivitis in humans. Too much plaque and bacteria buildup on the teeth can affect the gums, which can become swollen and inflamed. Gingivitis could lead to more series gum disease and potential tooth loss if untreated.

What Are Gingivitis Signs in Cats?

If you can look into your cat's mouth, you may see signs of gingivitis. It often starts out as a darker red line near the base of the tooth. You may see it under only one tooth or across several teeth. The dark red area will spread and become more noticeable as the gingivitis worsens. You will also likely see some yellowing or plaque buildup on the teeth.

Cats also exhibit other symptoms when their case is severe. For example, they may:

  • Eat less or stop eating altogether
  • Drool excessively
  • Have worsening bad breath
  • Eat on only one side of their mouth
  • Show signs of pain while eating

How Do Veterinarians Examine a Cat's Gums?

The veterinarian will do a general medical examination and a thorough oral examination, including X-rays. Most cats will need anesthesia to ensure they stay still during all procedures. It's important for the veterinarian to do a complete examination to rule out problems that may look similar to gingivitis. Your cat will also receive a complete tooth cleaning.

What Treatments Work With Cat Gingivitis?

Your cat may need antibiotics and other medications to treat the infection. You may also need to apply medicated gels and rinses to your cat's mouth. You will also need to brush your cat's teeth and gums to keep the gingivitis from returning. You can find many pet-safe toothpastes on the market. Many people train their cats to accept toothbrushes. A finger brush may be easier if your cat doesn't like traditional toothbrushes. Never use human toothpaste on your pet.

While gingivitis and other dental problems are common in cats, regular veterinarian visits and dental exams can catch problems early. Early diagnosis makes for easier treatment. Your cat's dental health is important to their overall health. If your cat hasn't had their teeth examined for a while, talk to your veterinarian.  

Contact a local vet hospital, such as Indian Creek Veterinary Hospital, to learn more.