Periodontal Disease In Cats
Periodontal Disease In Cats
Periodontal disease in cats is something that will affect 70% of all cats and this can be a scary thought. Your cat relies on you to make sure that their health and well-being is taken care of.
But are you letting your cat down by not taking care of their teeth, gums and bones in their mouths? It is important that you consider their oral hygiene and this can only be completed if you are truly considering their overall health.
Bad oral hygiene can lead to bacteria in the mouth and this can have a negative impact on other areas of the body and this can result in more difficult conditions that you will have to deal with.
If you are fully aware of the condition and what you can do to help your pet is important. This article will give you the information that you need.
“When was the last time you looked at your dog’s or cat’s teeth and gums? You might be surprised by what you see.
Periodontal disease affects almost all dogs and cats at some point in their lives and contributes to increased risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease similar to humans. Understanding periodontal disease is the first step toward recognition and successful management.
Over 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over 2 years of age are affected. The frequency of disease increases with age and affects almost all dogs by 5 years of age. This makes periodontal disease the most common health problem seen in dogs and cats.
Periodontal disease in cats an dogs involves two distinct inflammatory conditions. The first inflammatory condition affects the gums and is called gingivitis. The second inflammatory condition is called periodontitis because the gums, tooth attachment tissues, and the associated bone are affected. Any dog or cat can be affected, but, periodontal disease is most common in small and toy breeds such as the toy poodle, Yorkshire terrier, and Maltese.
There are a number of factors that contribute to periodontal disease in cats and dogs including small mouth size with crowded teeth and a genetic predisposition. In addition to bad breath, periodontal disease can result in mouth pain, difficulty eating, and tooth loss. Also a big concern is that bacteria and bacterial toxins from the mouth can be shed into the bloodstream.
This means that the larger the amount of bacteria and bacterial toxins in the mouth the greater the risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease.
Periodontal disease starts out as gingivitis. This inflammation in the gum tissue is a reaction to the soft food particles and bacteria (plaque) accumulating in the area where the gum tissue attaches to the tooth. In addition to bad breath, swollen and bright red gums, minor bleeding may occur when toys or rawhides are chewed. Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease. It is considered reversible with appropriate care involving removal of the plaque and calculus and daily teeth brushing. Regular daily brushing is recommended because, when plaque is mixed with saliva and minerals in saliva, it quickly hardens into calculus.
While teeth brushing is considered the best home care, not all dogs and cats allow their teeth to be brushed. Other care options include dental diets, special chews, water additives, and certain toys. Some dental diets work by mechanically breaking up the plaque and binding calcium in the saliva to reduce calculi formation.
Chlorohexidine-based oral products and zinc ascorbate gels have been shown to reduce plaque accumulation and can reduce the bacteria that cause periodontitis. Unfortunately, these approaches may not completely control the problem, therefore, it is important to be aware that a dental cleaning and polishing under general anesthesia may be recommended by your veterinarian.
General anesthesia is important because it allows the veterinarian to carefully clean the plaque and calculi in the gum sulcus and between the teeth that may not be visible without a thorough inspection. Also, overgrown inflammatory gum tissue can be removed, and a search for periodontal pockets can be completed.
Gingivitis can progress into periodontitis where the gums and the tissues that attach the tooth to the jaw bone become inflamed and the tooth attachments can breakdown. Periodontitis can fluctuate between periods of active inflammation and no inflammation. Therefore, there are periods of time where the mouth looks stable and periods of rapid decline. The severity of the periodontitis is graded based on the depth of periodontal pockets, the amount of gum tissue destruction, and the amount of bone loss around the tooth root. In some cases, the complete extent of the periodontal disease can only be determined with an X-ray.
Diseases such as diabetes, feline leukemia virus, and anemias can play a role in progression of periodontal disease. Treatment of periodontal disease in cats and dogs requires antibiotics, general anesthesia, a complete dental cleaning, and surgical correction of periodontal pockets.
In addition to daily teeth brushing, use of dental diets, and appropriate oral rinses, long term management may be improved with the addition of foods that provide increased vitamins such as vitamin A and C that are supportive for the gums and connective tissues and immune system. Oral probiotics have potential benefits.
Additionally, probiotics can be supportive of a healthy immune system and have benefits following antibiotic use.
Since your pet is likely affected, contact your veterinarian to discuss periodontal disease. Prompt treatment is essential for long term health in the mouth and the entire body.”
This article points out the importance of diet and what you can do to help improve the dental health of your cat.
It mentions some of the things that you should be considering in preventing the condition from starting including thinking about the diet of your cat and is it the best food for them. It is important to remember how your cat’s stomach has developed over many years and to give this the correct form of food. It is only since the introduction of man-made diets that cats have developed many health problems.
You need to be on the guard for certain conditions in your pet these include, bad breath and any signs that your cat’s mouth is sore or painful. They might not be eating as much as usual and this can show in their weight, if they have lost weight it could be that their mouth is sore.
It is important that you are aware of periodontal disease in cats and the treatments available.