Dental disease can strike any cat at any age, but there are certain variables that can increase that risk. If you're trying to take care of your cat's oral health or even haven't given it much thought, it might interest you to know that your cat's breed, health, and the oral care you provide could play a big part in your cat's overall dental health. Read on to learn more about these three factors.
Your cat's breed actually plays a big part in its oral health. Certain breeds are more likely to have dental problems than others. For example, Siamese and Oriental cats have a higher likelihood of developing tooth decay and gum disease than other breeds of cats.
Unfortunately, there is no particular cure for this genetic quirk. You should think of it in the same way as certain breeds of cats having folded ears, or noisy voices. It's part of the genetic package, and cannot be changed. However, with proper oral care and dental check-ups, you can ensure that it doesn't progress uncontrolled and that your cat's teeth are protected.
Your cat's overall health can play a role in its dental health. One common problem is that cats who have feline leukemia have a higher incident rate of tooth decay and gum disease. This is because cats with feline leukemia have weakened immune systems, so bacteria runs rampant in the mouth and causes infections.
While it's possible for cats with feline leukemia to live relatively long lives, pet owners who know their cats have tested posted for this disease should visit a vet regularly to ensure that their dental health is in good shape.
Many pet owners don't realize that cats absolutely need regular oral care at home and at the veterinarian's office. Without tooth brushing, plaque quickly builds up in cat's mouths, and turns into tartar. From there, only a veterinarian can safely remove it. Without medical assistance, that tartar can cause inflammation in the gums, create cavities in the teeth, and ultimately cause a great deal of pain for cats.
If you didn't know that your cat needed its teeth brushed, you should visit a veterinarian first. Your kitty's teeth and gums may already be in bad shape, and attempting to brush them at this point could cause pain and not be particularly helpful. If your vet finds problems, they'll encourage you to brush your cat's teeth regularly after the kitty has had a full dental cleaning and is healthy again.
Cats are susceptible to dental disease, especially if they match certain factors. If you think your cat might need oral health, visit a veterinarian right away. Contact a vet, like Robert Irelan DVM, for more help.