Important News on Cat Oral Health Care

With February being National Dental Month, the main topic at South Town Animal Hospital is dental care and prevention.  We are confident that many pet owners today understand the importance of oral care and how greatly it affects the overall health of their pets.  However, there can be incidences where the severity of dental disease is not as obvious to a pet owner, particularly when it comes to our feline friends.  This may be due to the fact that it is very difficult to brush a cat’s teeth. Also, it is not typical that feline pet owners are making proactive oral health care appointments. The best medicine we can provide at South Town Animal Hospital is to help your pet(s) avoid dental disease through prevention and routine checkups. Did you know that cats have a higher likelihood of developing oral health issues earlier in life than dogs do? Well, read on to find out more about important information regarding feline dental issues.

  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease is no joke.  Cats can start to develop this condition at three years of age and at times even younger if they are genetically predisposed to it. Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that causes gum damage and inflammation which results in weakening the bones in the jawline.  The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup over time. Considering cats are not big chewers and that daily oral hygiene was unlikely, plaque buildup happened rapidly causing this very painful disease.
  • Stomatitis – Stomatitis is an immune mediated reaction from a plaque build up on the teeth, causing severe pain, redness, and inflammation of the oral cavity.  This excruciating condition can lead to many issues compromising the quality of a cat’s life, including the inability to continue to eat. Other symptoms include drooling, hiding, growling at food, decreased grooming and weight loss.  Stomatitis is common in immunocompromised cats, such as felines with FIV or Felv, but this disease can even be found in healthy cats as well.
  • Tooth Resorption – Feline tooth resorption or resorption lesions is another very common dental condition that we see in cats.  This condition is where the body essentially erodes the hard part of the tooth from the inside out. Eventually this condition left untreated leads to exposing the pulp and root of the tooth.  Tooth resorption often can go unnoticed at the initial onset of the disease. Many times the only way to diagnose is with dental radiographs done at the time of dental surgery. Once the diagnosis has been made, a tooth extraction is necessary to relieve the situation.  Unfortunately with this disease, there is no known cause as to why over 30% of cats get tooth resorption. 

Periodontal disease, stomatitis, and tooth resorption are just a few of the conditions that are commonly found in our feline friends. For most dental diseases prevention is the best care and this starts at home with dental supplements, chews, or water additives. In combination, regular checkups, routine dental care and at home dental treatments can greatly reduce the prevalence of dental diseases affecting our pets. During your pet’s routine veterinary visit, the veterinarian will examine your pet’s mouth and look for plaque buildup, lesions, loose teeth, and other abnormalities that might signify issues. With some issues a dental procedure would be recommended as the best way to provide care, followed up with an at home oral hygiene care plan to prolong the effectiveness.

Talk to the veterinarians or staff at South Town Animal Hospital today about good oral health practices.  Oral health care can be vital to the longevity of life and overall well being in our feline friends. South Town Animal Hospital is ready to answer any questions or concerns that may arise about dental healthcare.

Please feel free to send us an email at or call us at 847-695-7387.  At South Town Animal Hospital we believe that the heart of the matter is healthy pets, longer lives. 


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Dr Denise Crittenden

Dr Deborah Groth

Dr Sheri Cody

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