Brushing your cat’s teeth?! It might sound crazy, but it sure helps with gingivitis!

If your cat doesn’t eat and you notice a bad breath there is a big possibility that it suffers from cat gingivitis. Gingivitis is a another word for inflammation of the gums. This is a very painful condition for the cat, so you need to know more about its symptoms, treatment and prevention. Here you can read more about it and try to prevent this suffering for your cat.

Gingivitis is a mild form of a more serious disease – periodontal disease. It can be found in one tooth or maybe more. The infection spreads to the bones that support the teeth and if it’s not treated it can cause them to fall out. For that reason, if you notice some of the symptoms you need to consult with the vet immediately.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

The first and main symptom is red or swollen gums, and this usually appears on the gum facing the inner cheeks. You can not always notice this if you don’t check your cat’s mouth regularly, but the second symptom – which is a bad breath can alert you on a problem. Also, the cat might have plaque or calculus on the tooth surface. This also causes difficulties to eat, so your cat will refuse to eat. [adToAppearHere]

Other than the physical symptoms, you will notice a change in the cat’s behavior – she will be irritated, aggressive, depressed and even reclusive. The cat can also drool excessively and go to her plate to eat, but will not be able to do that because of the pain.

What can cause gingivitis?

Main cause of gingivitis is plaque accumulation on the teeth. Bacteria and food debris are building up on the teeth and later it hardens and becomes tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar has a yellow color and is placed between the gum line and the tooth.

Other factors for developing gingivitis in cats are old age, crowded teeth, bad chewing habits, lack of oral healthcare, open-mouth breathing, soft food, autoimmune disease or some feline viruses. 

Diagnosing and treating gingivitis

If you notice the above listed symptoms of the gum inflammation, you need to take your cat to the vet. There the vet will check its teeth and will probably see the build up of tartar, red and inflamed gums and bad breath. It is also recommended a full mouth x-rays so the vet can check to which extent is the disease and decide how to treat it. [adToAppearHere]

The treatment depends on the stage of the disease. In the early stages of gingivitis if the disease is not progressed the treatment can only be a dental cleaning and a better diet. Since cat don’t brush their teeth, we will need to do that for them. Often cats don’t show their discomfort so the early symptoms are difficult to be seen. Because of that a regular check ups at the vet are very important. If the disease has progressed a lot then other treatments will be included such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs etc.

How to prevent the disease?               

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The best way to prevent the gingivitis is to brush your cat’s teeth regularly. In that way food will not be built up on their teeth and the disease would not appear. However, you need to do this with a special toothbrush and toothpaste for cats, don’t use human toothpaste on cats. There are also special foods you can get for your cat that prevent plaque and tartar formation.

One way of preventing this condition is if you feed your cat with raw chicken neck or bones. This is a controversial topic, so you can consult with your vet about it.

 

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