The Bad News:
At least 70% of cats will have some form of dental disease by the time they are just 3 years old.
For cats age 6 and over, this number increases to 85%.
The Good News:
Dental disease is nearly 100% preventable.
How Dental Disease Starts — And The Risks It Poses To Your Kitty’s Health
Dental disease starts with a layer of food debris and bacteria, called plaque, which covers all our teeth every day. Humans break down this invisible layer by simply brushing the teeth, which keeps the tooth surface clean and the gums healthy.
But since cats no longer eat the sort of foods that simulate tooth brushing (fur, feathers, tough meat, etc.), the result is that plaque builds up on the teeth rapidly.
The bacteria eventually cause inflamed and infected gums, and, when they enter the bloodstream, can also cause heart, kidney, and liver disease.
(In fact, dental disease can TRIPLE your kitty’s chance of getting heart, kidney, and liver disease.)
The tricky part is that cats who have organ disease from dental problems may not even present as sick until the disease has become life-threatening.
This is why preventing dental disease is key.
How You Can Prevent Dental Disease
LOOK AT YOUR KITTY’S TEETH AND GUMS. A healthy mouth will have clean, white teeth, pale pink gums, and fresh-smelling breath.
However, if the teeth have a cover of yellow tartar, if the gums have an inflamed red line, or if the mouth smells foul, you need to have the teeth cleaned professionally by your vet, who can also deal with any diseased teeth.
Establish a Daily Brushing Routine
Brushing is the cheapest and most effective method to remove the plaque layer day by day and to keep the teeth and gums clean and fresh.
Even if your cat has been professionally treated for dental disease, you must still perform daily maintenance.
That’s because early stages of periodontal disease can be remedied with professional teeth cleaning, which gives your cat a fresh start, but plaque will build up again within days without regular tooth brushing.
For detailed directions on how to care for your kitty’s teeth at home, see our blog post, “How To Brush Your Cat’s Teeth”.
TAKE YOUR CAT TO YOUR VETERINARIAN TWICE YEARLY FOR A DENTAL CHECK-UP.
We here at Scaredy Cats have state-of-the-art dental equipment. (Read more about feline dentistry at Scaredy Cats.)
Time For A Dental Check-Up?
Here at the Scaredy Cat Hospital, we recognize the danger that overlooking oral health can pose.
That’s why each exam we provide includes a very close look at your kitty’s teeth and gums.
We’ll check for bad breath, unhealthy gums, broken teeth, and plaque — all signs of a dental problem.
And if we find a problem, rest assured that our state-of-the-art dental equipment will help get your cat’s teeth and gums to a healthier state.
WE’LL HELP YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PRECIOUS PET’S TEETH AND GUMS ARE HEALTHY SO THEY CAN LIVE A LONG, HEALTHY LIFE.