Having a pet cat involves making sure your cat is happy and healthy. As your cat’s caretaker, you are overseeing all aspects of your cat’s physical health, both large and small. Even the smallest of health aspects can have a major negative impact if neglected. Feline dental problems are one of the most common issues for pet cats, but they are not difficult to avoid. Below is a brief overview of one of the most prevalent conditions, feline gingivitis.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a gradual process that causes inflammation and bleeding at the gumline. It can cause a cat to stop eating and endure chronic pain at its worst. It all begins when plaque builds up at the gumline. This point where the base of the tooth meets the gums is called the gingiva. When the plaque builds up and hardens, it becomes something called calculus or tartar. The plaque hardens when it absorbs minerals from the cat’s saliva and the gingiva.
The problem really starts when the plaque moves below the gingiva, under the gumline. What makes the plaque or calculus so damaging is the bacteria that clings to it. The bacteria may originally be good bacteria, but on the plaque, becomes an irritant causing inflammation, bleeding, and disease.
Causes of Feline Gingivitis
The causes of feline gingivitis could be simple or complex. More often, it could be due to a lack of dental care, and in some cases, overcrowded teeth. It could also be due to systemic health issues. In any case, it does not hurt to consult with your veterinarian to know the exact diagnosis, cause, and treatment.
Signs of Feline Gingivitis
As mentioned, one can tell if a cat has gingivitis if its gums are swollen, red, and in severe cases, bleeding. A cat might also hesitate to eat or show a preference for soft foods.
Prevention & Treatment
Daily teeth brushing is the best preventative maintenance for feline gingivitis. It is also the solution in many cases. Regular, thorough teeth brushing with feline toothpaste can usually reverse the inflammation and remove the bacteria. Antibiotics can act as a supplementary treatment. However, it is best to ask your veterinarian first.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!