Did you know that approximately 70 percent of cats will experience the beginning stages of periodontal disease by age three?
Dental disease (also known as periodontal disease) is a common incidental finding during your cat's wellness exam. Symptoms associated with periodontal disease can be easily missed at home since they are such stoic creatures. The diagnosis can begun to be made when your veterinarian examines your cat's mouth during a wellness exam, but often requires sedation or anesthesia to allow a more definitive diagnosis.
Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to:
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Tooth loss due to loss of supporting tissues around teeth
- Distant organ (e.g., liver, kidneys, heart valves) damage from bacterial infection
- Adverse behaviors caused by pain
Two commonly seen types of feline periodontal disease are:
Feline Resorptive Lesions About 50% of cats with periodontal disease also present with resorptive lesions. Resorptive lesions (RL) represent areas of painful tooth destruction. Radiographs of the teeth are required to diagnose this painful condition as the pathology typically hides beneath the gum line. Currently, the cause of RL is unclear, but what we do know is that extraction of the affected tooth removes the source of pain.
Feline Stomatitis Stomatitis refers to inflammation of the tissues in the oral cavity. For reasons veterinary medicine does not yet understand, some cats develop a profound inflammatory response to plaque resulting in pain, foul breath and often a poor appetite. Therapy requires frequent teeth cleanings and exceptional home care to maintain comfort and quality of life.
What can you do for your cat?
At the Cat Vet Clinic, a dental evaluation is performed during every physical examination. At this time, the conversation between veterinarian and pet owner can take place to discuss what the next appropriate steps may be, tailored to each individual cat's needs. All procedures performed at our facility are done with the same attentive care you can expect from any of our services. Dental scaling and polishing, as well as any radiographs and extractions, are performed under general anesthesia. Your cat will be under the alert eyes of our technicians and doctors before, during and after their anesthetic procedure, and our reception staff will be glad to relay updates to our nervous pet parents!
Twice a year, we at the Cat Vet Clinic will offer a 10% discount on dental anesthetic procedures. Arrange a visit to see us, if you would like to take advantage this month!