Dental care in cats involves both oral hygiene involving brushing the teeth as well as dental care diets which help prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Once plaque and tartar have formed, it must be removed under anesthesia and then the teeth are polished to prevent adherence of more plaque. After that, it is important to continue oral care and dental diets, otherwise, plaque and tartar will quickly reform. The possible sequelae of plaque and tartar are gum disease and potentially feline cavities called FORL.

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What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?

Dental cleaning involves general anesthesia, the scaling and polishing of the teeth; exploration of any pockets in the gums and x-rays to ensure that there are no cavities or infected roots or teeth that have lost enough gum support that they should be removed. If teeth need to be removed, then the extraction sites are sutured. Pain medications are provided for several days along with a soft diet if there need to be extractions.

What are signs of dental problems in cats?

Dental problems can present as bad breath, trouble eating, eating on one side or complete appetite loss.

Are some feline breeds more susceptible than others?

Purebred cats seem to be susceptible to dental disease than others and especially at a younger age.

What is feline tooth resorption?

Feline tooth resorption is the process whereby the enamel can dissolve due to the accumulation of plaque and tartar and particular bacteria on the cat’s tooth. They are very painful lesions as the loss of enamel exposes the pulp cavity of the tooth which is very painful.

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