Cats aren’t exactly able to brush their own teeth to keep them in good health, which is why the majority of them have oral problems of some sort later in life. Feline gingivitis is one of the most common problems that they suffer from. This condition occurs when there is inflammation of the gums.
Bacteria is found in every cat’s mouth. Problems with gingivitis in cats develop whenever this bacteria is allowed to accumulate. Bacteria in the mouth combines with old food particles and eventually turns into plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed in a timely manner, then it will turn into yellow tartar.
Cats that aren’t fed a proper diet can easily experience oral problems. Proper nutrition isn’t enough to keep gingivitis in cats at bay though. Owners need to care for their feline’s teeth, ideally cleaning them after each meal.
There are various types of bacteria that can cause feline gingivitis. It isn’t always caused by bacteria though, as viral infections can also lead to the condition. One of the most common diseases that causes it is cat panleukopenia.
Gingivitis in cats causes a wide variety of symptoms. Whenever your cat tries to drink or eat anything, he will experience oral pain. Thanks to the pain, many cats stop eating like they’re supposed to and become anorexic. Excessive salivation is also a common occurrence. As the condition progresses, the teeth may start to decay or develop cavities.
Feline gingivitis also causes the gums to become red or swollen. The slightest contact can cause them to start bleeding, so you’ll need to be careful when cleaning your kitty’s teeth. Bad breath is also a common problem for cats with this oral condition.
If you take your cat to the veterinarian with some of these symptoms, he will take note of them and also ask you exactly what you’re feeding your cat. Stomatitis causes some of the same symptoms as gingivitis in felines. Therefore, he may need to take a biopsy of the tissues in the mouth in order to make a definitive diagnosis.
The first thing that needs to be done to treat feline gingivitis is to remove all of the tartar that has built up on the teeth. Owners will also need to start taking care of their pet’s teeth and gums better. Brushing the teeth on a daily or regular basis is very important.
Bacterial infections can easily develop thanks to gingivitis in cats. That’s why cats with the disease are generally prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotic pills are usually less effective in treating these secondary bacterial infections than antibiotic creams or ointments that are applied directly to the problematic areas.
The aforementioned treatments will effectively get rid of milder cases of cat gingivitis. Felines that experience chronic problems may need more advanced treatment in the form of surgery though. It’s best that treatment begins before tooth decay sets in since treatment will be more difficult at that point.
Feline gingivitis can be devastating to your cat’s oral health. This is especially true if it is allowed to progress into periodontal disease. These issues can largely be prevented by regular brushing and occasional professional cleaning. Don’t forget that proper nutrition plays a large role in preventing gingivitis in cats too.
Author: Darrin Swain