Feline Pet Dental Care

Feline Dentistry - Cats are not small dogs

Dr. Nossaman and ModieLike dogs, cats are affected by periodontal disease and fractured teeth, but in addition their oral problems include tooth resorption and stomatitis (inflammation of the oropharynx).

Like dogs, cats tend to hide pain and are even better than dogs at hiding oral pain. Studies show that animals experience pain similar to humans, but they have evolved not to show signs which would be regarded as weakness by other members of their species or even other species.

Modie in photograph at right with Dr. Nossaman may say that "cats rule . . . and dogs drool!" But unfortunately, some very painful feline dental issues do cause cats to drool.

Tooth Resorption

It is estimated that 60-75% of all mature cats have evidence of feline oral resorptive lesions or tooth resorption. Previously called cat “cavities,” tooth resorption begins at the surface of the tooth where enamel and or cementum (the hard enamel equivalent on the root) is eaten away leaving defects in the tooth. Research has shown that these are not true cavities, and that restoring them (placing a filling) does not stop the resorption process.

Once these defects reach the inner layers of the tooth, cats experience extreme discomfort. (Their jaws may quiver when these areas are probed.). In addition, bacteria found in the mouth may now have access to the blood stream and may infect heart valves, liver and kidneys.

Teeth with radiographic signs of advanced root resorption and no concurrent periodontal disease may be treated by sub gingival crown amputation. Annual exams are recommended for all mature cats in order to identify tooth resorption. Semi annual dental examinations and annual dental x-rays are recommended for all cats with previous diagnosis of tooth resorption.

Free Pet Dental Exam

FREE Dental Exam when completed the same day your pet receives any
cat dental care procedure! The Dental Exam is an $85 value!
Call us today 817.431.8451 for details.

Feline Gingivo Stomatitis

feline dentistryGingivo Stomatitis in cats is a severe inflammation or ulceration of the oral tissues. It is frequently debilitating causing:

Some cats with gingivo stomatitis
experience so much pain, they may be observed crying out and dropping food when attempting to eat.

Current data suggests that this disorder may have an immune mediated etiology but is generally considered to have many contributing factors. Corticosteroids have been used to provide relief initially but long-term use loses its effectiveness and may even cause diabetes.

Cats with feline gingivo stomatitis rarely respond to medical treatment without meticulous oral hygiene (difficult to achieve in a cat with a painful mouth). For most cats 80% or more will receive complete cure by extraction of all their teeth. Some cats may require additional medical treatment even after all of the teeth have been removed. Antibiotics may provide some benefit by reducing gingival infection but provide no long-term relief. See more →

Periodontal Disease

feline periodontal diseasePeriodontal disease is one of the most common oral problems identified in cats. Periodontal disease in cats, just like in humans and dogs is caused by the bacteria in plaque. Left on the tooth surface plaque becomes mineralized by calcium salts in saliva. This mineralized debris called calculus or tartar, provides a rough surface for more plaque to adhere. The bacteria in the plaque begins to change to a more virulent form and infects the gums and connective tissue around the teeth.

In addition, bacteria may enter the blood stream and cause damage to heart valves, liver and kidneys.

Cats with periodontal disease may also have concurrent problems like tooth resorption and tooth fractures. Full mouth dental x-rays are indicated for every cat with periodontal disease.

The below intra oral radiograph (x-ray) shows how the infection has caused much of the bone around the tooth to be lost, as well as loss of part of the root.

feline dental x-rayCats tend to hide pain, and studies show that they experience pain similar to humans. They have evolved not to show pain and not to show signs which would be regarded as weakness by other members of their species or even other species.

Annual oral exams
are recommended for all cats

Call 817-431-8451 today to schedule an appointment
for your feline friend

Dental Exam

See here for more photos of the above case involving severe feline periodontal disease, resulting in oral surgery and a full mouth extraction (all teeth removed).

Fractured Canine Teeth

feline root canalCats frequently will fracture their canine teeth (fangs). Even a small fracture of the tip may cause pulp exposure as the cats pulp chamber extends very close to the tip.

Pulp exposure provides an entrance for bacteria to invade and invariably leads to infection and death of the pulp tissue. Every fractured tooth should be x-rayed and depending on the results may be treated by extraction or root canal therapy.

See here for more feline dental photos and x-rays for the case (photo at right), which resulted in root canal therapy.

Oral Cancer

feline dentistryOral tumors have been estimated to account for nearly 10% of all feline cancer. Almost all oral tumors are malignant in cats (90%). There are some masses or oral swellings that may be identified that are benign, such as ostomyelitis or infection of the bone caused by periodontal disease.

All oral masses or swellings should be examined as soon as possible under general anesthesia and full mouth dental x-rays should be obtained. Biopsy may also be indicated and provide useful information directing treatment.

 

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