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What You Need to Know about Gingivitis in Cats

Aug 15th 2015 at 12:39 AM

When it comes to taking care of a cat, there are a lot of things to consider. Unfortunately, as well-meaning as most kitty parents are, there are usually some aspects of pet ownership that are overlooked. One of the most overlooked aspects of feline health is dental care. Here are some things you should know about gingivitis, according to a professional veterinarian.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a condition that is characterized by inflamed gums and various tooth problems. There are many symptoms associated with gingivitis including swollen, red gums, pain while eating, lack of appetite, excess salivation, halitosis, and foul breath.

Although feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus are the most common causes of gingivitis, it can also develop in cats that don’t receive regular dental care. If not properly treated, there are a variety of additional health consequences, including bacterial infections in the blood, which will eventually cause long-term damage to internal organs.

Treating gingivitis

Without the right treatment, gingivitis can progress into full-blown periodontal disease, which will eventually cause a cat to lose his teeth. However, there are ways that you can treat feline gingivitis, and in some cases, the effects can be completely reversed.

A deep-clean is usually always recommended, but the animal will likely have to be under the influence of an anesthetic in order to treat the tartar located below the gum line. In some cases, it may also be recommended that some teeth, like the molars and premolars, be removed to stop the disease from affecting the entire mouth.

Preventing gingivitis

Although some forms of gingivitis can be successfully treated, it is much easier to prevent gingivitis in the first place. Not only will you prevent your cat from experiencing pain and discomfort, you’ll also save money in the long run on costly veterinary treatments.

Purchase special teeth-cleaning treats for your kitty to keep plaque and tartar at bay. You should also spend time brushing your furry friend’s teeth. Even choosing the right cat food can have a drastic effect on his oral health.

If the idea of brushing your cat’s teeth makes you uncomfortable, you can also schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He will be able to professionally clean your kitty’s teeth during your annual exam.

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