National Dentist’s Day – a reminder on the importance of Cat Dental Care!

It’s National Dentist’s Day on Wednesday 6th March. Our lovely old boy Jerry, who’s making a good recovery from extensive dental surgery, thought he’d take the opportunity to remind you of the importance of keeping your cat’s gnashers in good shape!

You may be aware of the importance of annual vaccinations, but your vet will also do a dental check as part of your cat’s annual check-up. Dental conditions are not covered by most insurance providers, so an annual dental check is a great way to spot problems before expensive surgeries become necessary.

Cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding their pain, and tooth pain is no exception, so what are some signs of dental problems and disease in cats?

  • Poor grooming habits, scruffy looking coat
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weight loss and reduced appetite
  • Bleeding or red and inflamed gums (gingivitis, more info below)
  • Excessive attention and seeming irritation towards oral area, e.g. pawing at mouth
  • Tenderness/sensitivity around the mouth
  • Reduced appetite and/or weight loss

If you spot any of these symptoms, give your vet a call asap.

Gum disease in cats – Gingivitis is an inflammation of a cat’s gums. Mild gingivitis is common in young kittens as their adult teeth come through, and is not uncommon in adult cats, but should still be treated appropriately and monitored by a vet. Although it may not seem urgent, if left untreated, advanced gum disease can lead to receding gums and other tooth problems that make invasive dental surgery the only remaining option.

Brushing your cat’s teeth is a great way to avoid dental disease. However, we understand that not every cat will be the biggest fan of a toothbrush. Particularly if you’ve rehomed a lively rescue cat who’s used to having their own way, there’s a chance you might even get a swipe or a bite for your troubles! If you’ve got a kitten or younger cat it helps to get them used to tooth brushing from a young age. If you have an older, feistier cat, the best advice we can give is preventative care, make sure you book in those annual vaccinations and health checks and keep a close eye year round for any of the symptoms listed above. If in doubt, book an appointment with your vet straight away.