Healthy teeth and gums make for a healthy cat. Your vet will check your cat’s teeth during their annual checkup, but you can help prevent gum disease by brushing your cat’s teeth regularly.
Looking after your cat’s teeth
Tooth and gum problems occur in eight out of ten cats over the age of three. Establish a routine of brushing your cat’s teeth as early as possible to keep your cat smiling.
Cats tend to accumulate plaque, food debris and bacteria, on the outside of their teeth, but not on the inside. This hardens to form tartar, irritating the gums and causing gingivitis and loss of teeth. The bacteria can even enter the bloodstream and damage the kidneys and other organs.
Signs of advanced gum disease include:
- bad breath or halitosis
- reddened gums
- yellowish-brown tartar on teeth
When gingivitis is severe, cats may even drop food from their mouths and lose weight because they are unable to eat. If this happens, your vet may recommend specialist dental care to remove any loose teeth and descale using ultrasonic vibration. This gently removes plaque and tartar without damaging the surface of the teeth.
Dental disease is preventable in the majority of cases and the methods used to keep your cat’s mouth healthy can start at an early age. Maintaining oral hygiene is directly associated to the most adequate diet of the cat with the use of products that are able to decrease the bacterial population responsible for the accumulation of the plaque. These products can be used when brushing your cat’s teeth.
Cats can experience 2 types of teeth loss. The first loss happens when they lose their first set of teeth known as milk teeth at around 3 or 4 months of age.
The second set of teeth is formed by 30 individual teeth. Throughout the cat’s whole life it’s expected that a cat loses 1 or 2 teeth…to continue reading this article from Purina, click here.