One of the essential components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for pet cats is having a good home dental regimen that involves brushing a cat's teeth regularly. Tooth and gum problems are common in cats. In fact, about 90% of cats have some form of dental problems at one time or another. Plaque and tartar can accumulate on the cat's teeth and gums which can eventually lead to infection, inflammation, gum disease, foul-smelling breath, and tooth loss.
One important reason why dental problems in cats are not detected early is their strong instinct to hide their pain. This trait is inherited from their ancestors. Any tell-tale sign showing that they are in pain makes them appear vulnerable to predators.
Any sign of dental disease should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian sooner rather than later.
Without regular tooth brushing, plaque slowly accumulates and forms a film on the surface of the cat’s teeth. Plaque is composed of food particles, saliva, and bacteria. If you don't brush your cat's teeth, plaque can eventually harden into tartar, the hard yellowish deposit on the surface of the teeth. Tartar is an important predisposing factor of gingivitis or the inflammation of the gums, which is the initial stage of periodontal disease. About 70% of cats have developed periodontal disease by the time they are 2 years old, but other dental issues can occur earlier. Bacteria that thrive on plaque build-up can get into the blood circulation and cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, and other major organs of the body.
Your cat will benefit from regular dental checkups which will be performed by your veterinarian. These visits are important opportunities for your cat's mouth to be thoroughly examined for any signs of dental problems. Depending on the results of the examination, your veterinarian may find it necessary to carry out professional dental cleaning. Since the procedure requires that the cat has to be placed under general anesthesia for dental cleaning, blood work is done first to determine if the cat is healthy enough to be given an anesthetic drug. Once the cat is under anesthesia, it is now possible for the vet to perform a comprehensive cleaning procedure that will include the following:
If your cat hates having his tooth brushed, there are cat dental care products that you can use for the purpose. These include the following:
There are many ways to clean your pet’s teeth naturally. These include the following:
Veterinarians recommend daily or at least twice-a-week brushing to prevent plaque and tartar buildup and help ensure healthy teeth and gums.
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