Dental problems in cats

Posted on December 13 2018

Dental problems in cats

A carnivorous animal, your cat needs his teeth every day. They allow him especially to eat. However, it can happen that bacteria develop, especially if its oral hygiene is not perfect. Diseases can then occur. We see which ones and we explain to you how to fight them, but also to anticipate them.

The teeth of your cat

Your adult cat has 30 teeth . These teeth usually appear after 4 to 5 months of life, once the baby teeth have fallen. These last appear 2 to 3 weeks after the birth of the kitten.

Causes of dental pathologies

The main cause of the appearance of bacteria is tartar . As it accumulates, it is deposited on its dental plaque which is also an accumulation of food ingested by your feline. Without an irreproachable hygiene , then this scale comes from a mineralization of the plate. The bacteria will gradually and insidiously destroy the roots and come to act on the gum . It will be inflamed and your cat will suffer .

In addition, inflammation of the gums causes them to swell and create pockets in which bacteria will come in numbers. They will grow and create toxins . This can lead to loosening , and thus the loss of teeth (see below), but also to more serious diseases in other organs of the body of the animal.

Tooth diseases

There are different pathologies related :

  • Periodontal diseases

The term periodontal refers to progressive irritation of the structures that support the teeth . In other words, periodontal disease includes all inflammations of the dentition, jaw and gums. We are dealing with gingivitis and loopholes . As observed above, these diseases are triggered following an accumulation of tartar on the dental plaque . The bacteria proliferate , to develop and become the structures of the jaw. This promotes pain , but also theloss of teeth in your cat . If the disease is advanced , it can even win the liver and heart through the blood . You must react urgently .

The symptoms of such a disease are multiple. We find a strong breath , a salivation , deposit yellowish on the teeth, a sign of tartar, a loss of appetite of your cat, but also difficulty chewing, an irritation, redness or bleeding from the mouth (of gums) and a runny nose.

  • Gingivitis stomatitis

We are in a case even more serious than a periodontal disease because the inflammation is more important. Here, it touches the entire oral cavity , including cheeks, tongue and even the palate. This is a condition that arises when your cat's immune system is weakened . This will be the case if he has calcivirus (FCV) or IVF and herpesvirus . Sometimes gingivitis-stomatitis originates in advanced periodontal disease .

Other diseases, much rarer , may appear. This will be the case of a tumor , or an allergic reaction for example.


The treatments provided by your veterinarian will depend on the extension of the disease. In the face of mild periodontal disease, scaling and polishing of the teeth will usually be necessary. When the disease has already spread, the health professional can extract some teeth that are, in any case, unusable by your feline.

In the case of a larger infection or even gingivitis-stomatitis, a more general and precise assessment is made. We will look for the cause of its appearance (kidney disease, immune deficiency ...) through a blood test , dental x - rays . Then, a suitable drug treatment will be put in place (anti-inflammatories, antibiotics). The rest depends on your cat's response to this treatment.


The best thing is still to prevent the appearance of these diseases . You can anticipate and even reduce the risk to a minimum by performing regular cleaning (once or twice a week) of your pet's teeth.

For that, you must bring a soft toothbrush and a paste scalers you yourself affix on your cat's teeth. We advise you to start when he is very young to accustom him to this practice not always very appreciative for him.

In addition, you can give him specific croquettes and a tablet given by your vet that will act as a toothpaste and limit the appearance of tartar.

In summary

Dental problems can occur in your cat, especially in case of poor hygiene. They can also be the consequence of a defective immune system or an underlying disease, such as kidneys. Dental pathologies can be more or less serious. They must be taken seriously to limit complications. The treatments will be adapted according to the stage of the disease and the infection, generally caused by bacteria which proliferate because of too much tartar. The best solution is still prevention.

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