Updated: Feb 16
What is Dental Disease in Cats and How Can You Spot It?
At some point in your lives, you may have experienced the horrors of toothache, and if you have, you’ll know how excruciating it can be, so the first thing you do is rush to your dentist who will hopefully put you out of your dental misery.
But how would you know if your cat was suffering the same agonies?
February in the UK is Pet Dental Health Month and a great time raise awareness of
dental disease in cats.
Sadly, it is thought that as many as 85% of cats aged three years and older have some sort of dental disease*. But what exactly is dental disease?
It occurs when food, saliva and bacteria build up on the teeth creating plaque. If left untreated, plaque will harden forming dental tartar. If you cat has tartar, you’ll be able to see it as a hard cream/yellow/brown deposit on the surface of your cat’s teeth. Not only does tartar damage teeth, it’s full of nasty bacteria that can enter your cat’s blood stream and cause problems such as kidney and heart disease.
Plaque also causes gingivitis which when the gums become inflamed. It appears as a red line running along the base of each tooth where it meets the gum. Gingivitis can be incredibly painful.
But why is dental disease so common in cats? There are many factors at play but here are some common reasons:
Age. As with people, dental disease in cats becomes more common as they age. This is a result of a build-up of plaque throughout their lives as well as general wear and tear of their teeth.
Breed. Some breeds including Persians, Burmese and Siamese have very