Many owners forget about the dental health of their cat so here is what you should know about the cat teeth cleaning procedure and why it is important. Dental cleanings might seem pretty expensive as the cats require a general anesthesia for this procedure and that is why many are reluctant to do it but they are definitely worth the effort and if you do it regularly it can save the cat from requiring other procedures which will be painful and also expensive.
A cat with very bad breath clearly has some oral problems and if these are left untreated they will only get worse. If your pet is also drooling aside from the bad breath then it is probable that they suffer from some gum disease or tooth decay.
If you have some patience and start from an early age then the cat can get used to having their teeth brushed and this can both save you a lot of money as well as become an opportunity for you and your pet to bond. A yearly checkup is still required even if you brush their teeth.
If you have an adult cat they will usually be more resistant to the cleaning procedure but with a lot of patience you can get them used to this. Getting this done as a form of play is the recommended way and dipping your fingers in tuna water will make the experience more attractive to them.
There is toothpaste made specifically for cats and that is the only thing you should use as the fluoride from the regular ones can do a lot of damage. As you brush their teeth (only the exterior parts require work) also massage their gums as it will strengthen them and accelerate healing. The color of the gums should be pink and not red so if you notice bleeding it means that they are irritated.
Common Dental Problems
85% of cats have periodontal disease by the age of six and this means that tartar will spread under the gum line and cause damage. Daily brushing reduces the chances of your cat developing this issue. Another common problem is tooth resorption for cats over three years, a disease which is also known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions. This problem leads to a lot of pain and the teeth affected will have to be extracted.
Cats are great at hiding their pain but they still have sensitive teeth and if you ever had dental problems you know just how painful they can be. Home prevention is the best place to start and this should be gentle and gradual.
Good food will help with the prevention and a combination of wet and dry food with various meats is the best approach. Some bones to chew on can also help knock off tartar and keep their teeth in good shape but ensure you don’t give them things that can splinter (raw bones are better).
There are treats that help with the process but they won’t replace the need for brushing. Having this procedure done a few times a week (daily is the best choice) will mean that you can spot problems earlyand know when you need to call for professional help.