Cat gingivitis is a condition that affects a cat’s dental health, causing inflamed and red gums. It is the first stage of the more serious periodontal disease.
The disease is relatively common in cats. Studies suggest that up to 80 percent of all pets over the age of three will suffer from it at some point.
If you see signs of inflammation of the gums in your cat, then you have to see a vet for a correct diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of gingivitis in cats.
Symptoms of gingivitis in cats
Gingivitis can affect many areas of a cat’s mouth.
Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Swollen gums
- Very red gums
- Bad breath
- Visible plaque on the teeth
Along with the above symptoms, a cat suffering from gingivitis can also become more lethargic and withdrawn than usual.
Causes of gingivitis in cats
The main cause of gingivitis in cats is a buildup of plaque and sugar on the cat’s teeth. This sticky residue eventually begins to grow under the cat’s gums and redness and inflammation can develop.
Some of the other contributing causes of gingivitis in cats are as follows:
- Bad dental hygiene
- Crowded teeth in the mouth
- High age
It should be noted that certain breeds of cats with shorter noses than usual, including chinchillas and Persians, can become more prone to gingivitis as they are more likely to suffer from crowded teeth.
Treatments for gingivitis in cats
If you suspect your cat has gingivitis and you take you to a veterinarian, they will do an examination of your cat’s mouth and teeth. This dental examination can be done under anesthesia.
They also look at the cat’s medical history and ask if you have noticed if the cat has suffered from bad breath recently.
In addition to cleaning your cat’s teeth thoroughly, your vet may suggest an x-ray to make sure the gingivitis hasn’t developed into periodontal disease.
In cases where crowded teeth are an issue, your veterinarian may suggest removing selected teeth.
In general, your veterinarian will also advise you on starting a home teeth cleaning for your cat. You may need to pick up a special one toothbrush and toothpaste for your pet.
Switch to specific tooth-friendly foods and treats is also a frequently recommended option.
Are you taking care of your cat’s teeth to prevent gum infections? What advice does your veterinarian give you for your kitten’s oral hygiene at home? Let us know in the comments section below!
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