Your cat’s oral health plays an extremely important role when it comes to their overall wellbeing. Cats use their mouths for hunting, eating, and grooming. For this reason, cat owners should make feline oral health one of their top priorities. Today, the experts at Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery share a few tips so that you can tell if your cat’s oral health is in good shape.
The Basics of Feline Oral Health
By the time your cat reaches 7 months of age, they will have 30 permanent teeth. When your cat’s mouth is healthy, he or she will be able to eat without any signs of pain or discomfort, they will groom themselves often, and they will not have bad breath.
It can be difficult to tell if your cat is experiencing oral pain, because it goes against a cat’s instincts to show any outward signs of pain or discomfort that imply weakness. However, there are several other ways that you can tell if your cat has healthy teeth or if they are suffering from some degree of oral discomfort.
Signs of Healthy Teeth
It can be difficult to get a good look inside your cat’s mouth, as they may be reluctant to open their mouth for an evaluation. Scheduling regular wellness exams for your cat can help intervene before major problems occur. When a veterinarian examines your cat’s oral cavity, they will look for the following signs of healthy teeth:
- The crowns of the teeth should be free from any plaque or tartar buildup, and the crowns should not be cracked or broken.
- The gum tissue (gingiva) should be pink, and should not be sensitive to the touch. If your cat has gingivitis, their gums will appear bright red, especially at the gumline, and may bleed easily.
- In order to evaluate the entire tooth, including the root structure, a veterinarian should take dental x-rays of your cat’s mouth.
Signs of Unhealthy Teeth
Unhealthy teeth in cats can lead to dental problems like periodontal disease as well as other feline dental diseases. If your cat is choosing not to chew their food due to pain, they may vomit as a result of swallowing their food whole. If you notice your cat has a matted coat, this is a sign that they are unwilling or unable to groom themselves.
Other symptoms of unhealthy teeth include:
- bad breath
- weight loss
- decreased appetite
- decreased grooming
Teeth Cleanings for Cats in Bozeman
At Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery, we recommend that you bring your cat in for a professional dental cleaning at least once each year. We will perform a thorough cleaning under anesthesia, known as a Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment, or COHAT. A COHAT involves cleaning and polishing your cat’s teeth, a thorough intra-oral examination, and dental x-rays.
If you are noticing signs of oral pain or discomfort in your cat, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us today to schedule a feline oral health appointment in our Bozeman office. Dr.Tony Woodward, Montana’s only board-certified veterinary dentist can help restore your cat’s dental health and relieve any pain from unhealthy teeth.
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