It is estimated that somewhere between 50% to 90% of cats over the age of four have some form of dental disease. Whether their case is mild or advanced, it can cause serious problems for our feline friends, such as tooth loss and severe pain. Here’s why dental checkups from a veterinarian are so important for cats. 

Types of Dental Problems in Cats

Gum Disease 

Like humans, cats are also susceptible to gum disease. Gingivitis is the first stage, which is when the soft tissues of the gums are slowly eaten away by acids from the bacteria that form plaque. This fuzzy, sticky substance gradually turns into tartar, which is difficult to remove. As gum disease progresses, it will affect the structures that support your cat’s teeth, like the jaw bone, leading to tooth loss. 

Tooth Resorption

Instead of cavities, cats typically suffer from tooth resorption. During resorption, a cat’s tooth begins to decay and break down on the inside. By the time external symptoms show up, it is often too late to save the tooth and it will need to be extracted. 

Tooth Loss

If your cat has a diseased tooth but doesn’t get regular checkups, then they will have to go through the painful process of tooth loss. They may have difficulty eating or grow irritable until the tooth falls out. And if it breaks, the shards can cut up the cat’s delicate oral tissues, while exposed nerves can cause extreme pain.

Three Benefits of Dental Checkups for Cats

1: They Keep Dental Problems Small

Dental issues do not stay stagnant, they only grow worse over time. By treating the problems as they arise, you are keeping them small and manageable. Gum disease is a treatable problem that, if detected in its early stages and managed properly, does not need to lead to costly tooth extractions. 

2: They Can Help Relieve Pain

Cats are stoic creatures, and they are good at hiding their pain. Mild dental pain can often be difficult to spot, as many cats find it easy to ignore the pain except when they’re eating kibble. If your cat is eating less often, leaving large chunks of food behind, or avoiding their food dish altogether, they may need a dental checkup to ensure their teeth are healthy.  

3: They Keep Your Cat Healthy

A healthy mouth helps make a healthy cat. Pain can stop your cat from eating, robbing their bodies of proper nutrition. Open sores or bleeding gums can make your cat prone to infections that can wreak havoc on small bodies. Keeping up with your cat’s dental health can help you maintain your cat’s general health, too. 

Expert Dental Care for Cats in Gilbert, Arizona 

At East Valley Animal Hospital, excellent care for your cat’s 30 little teeth isn’t hard to find. We can easily schedule dental checkups along with their yearly wellness exams. Our staff are passionate about providing the very best dental care possible for your pet. We treat every cat with the same love and respect that we show the cats we have at home. Contact us to schedule a dental checkup or teeth cleaning today.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/9/24). Photo by Toni Reed on Unsplash.