Periodontal disease is one of the biggest diseases affecting our pets today. By 3 years of age, 80% of dogs and cats will already have signs of periodontal disease! At Acadia Veterinary Hospital, we are fully equipped to take care of all your pet’s oral health needs. Dental disease is a common and often overlooked problem in cats. Unlike humans, whose most common dental issue is cavities, cats more frequently suffer from gum disease (gingivitis) and plaque buildup on the teeth. We can also see resorptive lesions. Please give us a call anytime to schedule a dental exam for your pet. It can make such a difference in their lives!
What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?
A full physical exam and blood work are always performed before your pet is put under anesthesia for their dental procedure. This allows us to make sure that all of their organs are functioning properly and allows us to better tailor our anesthesia protocol to your pet’s condition. Every animal is given a sedative and pain medication before the procedure even starts! This allows the procedure to be as stress and pain-free as possible. In addition, every animal has a breathing tube in place to protect their airway, an IV line to give fluids and medications and monitoring equipment in place. Every animal’s heart rate, oxygen level, and blood pressure are monitored closely during the whole procedure. Once the pet is safely anesthetized, a complete comprehensive oral examination is performed and scaling and polishing of your pet’s teeth can be done, using an ultrasonic scaler and polisher. We have digital dental x-rays to perform full dental radiographs to further access what is going on beneath the gumline. If any teeth are infected or loose, we can extract them and take away that source of pain and discomfort. Your pet is then woken up from the anesthesia, with pain medications and any necessary antibiotics on board before they wake up, allowing for a pain-free postoperative period.
What are signs of dental problems in cats?
Signs of dental pain can be very subtle in cats. Some show no signs at all, others will avoid their dry food (preferring canned food), or you might notice a “chattering” with their mouth or they will drool excessively.
Are some breeds more susceptible than others?
Yes, the breed of your cat also can be a factor in dental disease. Some breeds, including Abyssinians, Oriental breeds, and Persians, are more susceptible to dental disease than other breeds.
What is feline tooth resorption?
Resorptive lesions are caused by the gradual destruction of a tooth by the body itself, using cells called odontoclasts. As of yet, we don’t know what causes the body to destroy these affected teeth. This disease is extremely painful and progressive! They can be first noted by a veterinarian on a physical exam, an affected tooth can appear as though the gum is growing or covering it. An x-ray of the tooth under anesthesia needs to be done to confirm the diagnosis. Just removing the affected tooth takes away the pain for the cat! Because this disease is progressive, once a cat has one affected tooth, it’s always possible that other teeth can be impacted in the future. For this reason, they need to be closely monitored at annual exams for more.