How to Save Your Cat’s Teeth

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Have you ever had a toothache or everwondered if your cat had a toothache?Well today I’m going to show you somesigns that your cat may be feeling somepain and discomfort within the oralcavity. Signs of periodontal disease incats can vary for a wide range ofdifferent clinical things that you cansee. One of the first things that you cansee is bad breath. Bad breath orhalitosis can be found in cats and it isproduced by the bacteria that help toform plaque and tartar on the toothsurface, The bacteria produces volatilesulfur compounds which create that odorthat has the the rank smell to it. Almost kind of like the sulfur or thesewer type of smell. Whenever we seesigns of halitosis that can be anindication of dental disease as well asbeing a potential indication of havingsomething emanating from lower in thedigestive tract like the stomach. Othersigns of dental disease that you can seein cats are going to be animalsappearing that they are favoring oneside of the mouth when they are chewing. So you might notice that they tilt thehead to the side. You might also wonderif they are dropping food on that sideof the mouth. When you see that they arehaving pain or discomfort with in theoral cavity you’ll notice that they willuse the side that is more comfortableand leave the side that it has a painfultooth or a painful area in it alone whenthey are trying to chew. In cats you canalso see something that is called jawchatter. Jaw chattering a cat is usuallyassociated with a sore tooth and mostcommonly it’s associated with thecondition of cats that is called toothresorption. You might notice that the catgoes to the water dish and when they goto the water dish they take a drink andthen you’ll notice that the jaw itselfchatters. When you see that jawchattering it is an indication thatthere could be something that isuncomfortable within the oral cavity. Inin some animals you will see apreference between soft food and hard. Some cats love their hard food and I’vehad cats in which we’ve extracted allthe teeth in the mouth and they stillprefer the hard food over soft food. Soif you notice a change or a switch intheir preference of hard versus softfood this can be an indication thatthere might be some dental pain in theoral cavity. You also can see that theywill paw at the mouth usually aftereating or during eating where they paw atthe mouth and are trying to getsomething out or feel something isuncomfortable within the oral cavity. This can also be an indication of painand discomfort. Tooth discoloration incats can be where the the tooth itselflooks like it takes on a pink or gray orpurple hue and that is an indicationthat the tooth might be dead. That wouldbe an indication of endodontic diseaseand that that tooth would most likelyneed to be extracted or potentially havea root canal performed on it. Redness orinflammation of the gum tissue likegingivitis is also a common clinicalsign that you can see in cats that haveperiodontal disease. When our doctortells us that there’s just a little bitof pink in the sink it’s the same thingfor for dogs and cats. So when you seethat gingivitis or a little bit ofbleeding when the animal might bechewing on a toy or when you’re brushingtheir teeth that is an indication ofinflammation of the gum tissue. Inflammation and gingivitis leftuntreated can cause destruction of thesurrounding tooth structure thatactually holds the teeth within to thebone. One of the most commonmisconceptions of having pain within theoral cavity in my opinion is weight lossor a decreased appetite. Many cats willhave a completely normal appetite eventhough they do have pain within the oralcavity and they will also maintain theirweight. So once we start to see that theyare decreasing their appetite anddecreasing their weight one of thethings to be concerned about would besome other systemic disease conditionthat might be going on as well. Only whenthe dental disease isso severe that is affecting the otherorgan systems and it’s been going on along time is when I see that it might berelated to the oral cavity. So toevaluate your cat’s oral cavity one ofthe things that you can do is you cangently hold them or you can even wrapthem in a towel like a burrito andgently just try to lift the lips so thatyou can expose the tooth surface. One ofthe biggest misconceptions as well isthat you have to pry open the oralcavity. The cats don’t like that, justas we don’t really like that. So justbeing able to shift the head to the sideand be able to expose the lips andexpose the teeth. That will help you toevaluate and see if there is any rednessor any discoloration to the teeth. If youwanted to try to put your fingers behindthe canine teeth and then just open themouth a little bit to try to look insideand to look at the tongue. That will giveyou a quick peek in there to make surethat there’s no oral masses. You alwayshave to be conscious of the fact of thetemperament of your cat though. As wellto make sure that you don’t injureyourself in trying to evaluate the oralcavity. So for Henry’s oral cavitythere’s just a little bit of gingivitis. He actually has some extra teeth in hereand there’s a little bit of toothcrowding but for the most part his mouthlooks pretty good. I hope that I havebeen able to provide you with a few tipstoday to try to evaluate your cats fordental disease and periodontal diseaseand to help improve their quality oflife. Thank you for your interest in yourpets healthcare. Have you ever had a bad tooth or ever wondered if yourdog has had a bad tooth. Well today I’mgoing to share some signs that might bean indication that your dog may havesome periodontal disease or may have abad tooth in the mouth.

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