oral health is vital for good body health and if you’ve ever wondered how to keep your Cat’s Teeth clean. Well, today I’m going to show you some signs that your cat may be feeling some pain and discomfort within the oral cavity.
Signs of periodontal disease in cats
Signs of periodontal disease in cats can vary for a wide range of different clinical things that you can see.
One of the first things that you can see is bad breath. Bad breath or halitosis can be found in cats and it is produced by the bacteria that help to form plaque and tartar on the tooth surface, The bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds which create that odor that has the rank smell to it.
Almost kind of like the sulfur or the sewer type of smell. Whenever we see signs of halitosis that can be an indication of Cat’s Teeth disease as well as being a potential indication of having something emanating from lower in the digestive tract like the stomach.
Other signs of Cat’s Teeth disease that you can see are going to be animals appearing that they are favoring one side of the mouth when they are chewing.
So you might notice that they tilt the head to the side. You might also wonder if they are dropping food on that side of the mouth.
When you see that they are having pain or discomfort within the oral cavity you’ll notice that they will use the side that is more comfortable and leave the side that it has a painful tooth or a painful area in it alone when they are trying to chew.
In cats, you can also see something that is called a jaw chatter. Jaw chattering a cat is usually associated with a sore tooth and most commonly it’s associated with the condition of cats that is called tooth resorption.
You might notice that the cat goes to the water dish and when they go to the water dish they take a drink and then you’ll notice that the jaw itself chatters.
When you see that jaw chattering it is an indication that there could be something that is uncomfortable within the oral cavity.
In some animals, you will see a preference between soft food and hard.
Some cats love their hard food and they prefer hard food over soft food.
So if you notice a change or a switch in their preference of hard versus soft food this can be an indication that there might be some dental pain in the oral cavity.
You also can see that they will paw at the mouth usually after eating or during eating where they paw at the mouth and are trying to get something out or feel something is uncomfortable within the oral cavity.
This can also be an indication of pain and discomfort.
Tooth discoloration in cats can be where the tooth itself looks like it takes on a pink or gray or purple hue and that is an indication that the tooth might be dead.
That would be an indication of endodontic disease and that that tooth would most likely need to be extracted or potentially have a root canal performed on it.
Redness or inflammation of the gum tissue like gingivitis is also a common clinical sign that you can see in cats that have periodontal disease.
When our doctor tells us that there’s just a little bit of pink in the sink it’s the same thing for dogs and cats.
So when you see that gingivitis or a little bit of bleeding when the animal might be chewing on a toy or when you’re brushing cat’s teeth that is an indication of inflammation of the gum tissue.
Inflammation and gingivitis left untreated can cause destruction of the surrounding tooth structure that actually holds the teeth within the bone.
One of the most common misconceptions of having pain within the oral cavity, in my opinion, is weight loss or a decreased appetite. Many cats will have a completely normal appetite even though they do have pain within the oral cavity and they will also maintain their weight.
So once we start to see that they are decreasing their appetite and decreasing their weight one of the things to be concerned about would be some other systemic disease condition that might be going on as well.
Only when the dental disease is so severe that is affecting the other organ systems and it’s been going on a long time is when it might be related to the oral cavity.
So to evaluate your cat’s oral cavity one of the things that you can do is you can gently hold them or you can even wrap them in a towel like a burrito and gently just try to lift the lips so that you can expose the tooth surface.
you can expose the tooth surface. One of the biggest misconceptions as well is that you have to pry open the oral cavity.
The cats don’t like that, just as we don’t really like that. So just being able to shift the head to the side and be able to expose the lips and expose the teeth. That will help you to evaluate and see if there is any redness or any discoloration to Cat’s Teeth.
If you wanted to try to put your fingers behind the canine teeth and then just open the mouth a little bit to try to look inside and to look at the tongue. That will give you a quick peek in there to make sure that there are no oral masses.
If you wanted to try to put your fingers behind the cat teeth and then just open the mouth a little bit to try to look inside and to look at the tongue. That will give you a quick peek in there to make sure that there are no oral masses.
You always have to be conscious of the fact of the temperament of your cat though. As well to make sure that you don’t injure yourself in trying to evaluate the oral cavity.
I hope that I have been able to provide you with a few tips to try to evaluate your cats for dental disease and periodontal disease and to help improve their quality of life.