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Common Dental Problems in Cats

Common Dental Problems in Cats

Like humans, our beloved feline friends are susceptible to developing painful and uncomfortable dental health issues. Our veterinarians in Oak Grove are shedding light on the most common dental problems that cats face, along with tips to identify and treat them.

Maintaining excellent oral health is crucial for your cat's overall well-being. By keeping their mouth, teeth, and gums healthy, they can continue their daily activities such as eating and meowing without any discomfort. Neglecting their oral health can lead to pain and hinder their ability to eat or vocalize effectively. Additionally, untreated infections and bacteria that cause most oral health issues in cats can spread to other organs, potentially causing damage to their kidneys, liver, and heart, which can impact their overall health and well-being.

Recognizing Dental Problems in Your Cat

Your cat may exhibit specific symptoms related to oral health problems. Look out for the following behaviors or symptoms that may indicate a dental condition:

  • Bad Breath (halitosis)
  • Difficulty with or slow eating
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive drooling
  • Visible tartar
  • Pawing at their teeth or mouth
  • Bleeding, swollen, or noticeably red gums
  • Missing or loose teeth

If you see your cat displaying any of the dental health symptoms listed above call your vet as soon as possible to schedule a dental examination for your kitty. The earlier your cat's dental condition is diagnosed, the easier the issue should be to treat.

Common Dental Problems in Cats

As a cat owner, it's important to keep an eye out for potential oral health issues that may arise. Among the various conditions that may impact your feline's teeth, gums, and other oral structures, here are three of the most prevalent ones to be aware of.

Periodontal Disease

Did you know that almost 70% of cats develop some form of periodontal disease by the time they reach 3 years of age? This disease is caused by bacterial infections found in plaque, which is a soft film that accumulates on their teeth throughout the day.

If your cat's teeth aren't cleaned regularly, the plaque will harden and form tartar that extends below their gum line. This can irritate and erode the supporting structures of your cat's teeth, leading to severe infection, loose and missing teeth, and organ damage if left untreated.

Treatments for periodontal disease range from plaque and tartar removal for mild cases to tooth extraction and surgery for more severe cases.


Feline stomatitis is a painful inflammation and ulceration of your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue. While some breeds like Persians and Himalayans are more prone to developing this condition, any cat can be affected. Cats with stomatitis usually experience a lot of pain which can cause them to lose their appetite and even become malnourished. Mild cases can be treated with prescription antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or chlorhexidine rinses or gels, while more severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption in cats is a condition that involves the gradual destruction of one or more teeth in your cat's mouth. It is a common issue among middle-aged and older cats, with up to three-quarters potentially affected. Tooth resorption causes pain as the hard outer layer of the tooth breaks down, loosening it. The destruction occurs beneath the gum line, making it challenging to detect without a dental X-ray. However, if you notice your cat suddenly showing a preference for soft foods or swallowing their food without chewing, they may be suffering from this condition. Tooth extractions are the usual treatment for tooth resorption in cats.

Preventing and Protecting Your Cat From Dental Problems

Just like with humans, regularly brushing and cleaning your cat's mouth is the number one way to prevent dental disease and issues with their teeth. By removing plaque before it can cause damage or infection, your cat's teeth and gums will have a much better chance of remaining healthy.

It's best to start cleaning your cat's teeth and gums when they are young so they can adjust to the process quickly. In addition to at-home brushing, taking your cat for dental checkups at the vet starting from when they are a year old will help prevent disease with professional cleanings and oral health treatments.

Contact us at Oak Grove Animal Hospital right away if your cat shows signs of dental problems. We offer thorough exams and cleanings to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health issues in felines.

We Are Always Welcoming New Patients

Oak Grove Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinarians are passionate about animal health and are proud to serve our patients. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment and to get started.

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Contact (270) 439-6110