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  • Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic

    896 N. Burlington Boulevard, Burlington, WA 98233 US

    360-757-3722

  • The Chuckanut Valley Feline Center

    1214 Dupont Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 US

    360-671-7707

Gingivitis in Cats - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Posted Dec 15th, 2022

Gingivitis in Cats - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to your cat's overall well-being. Gingivitis is a very common dental issue in pets. That's why cleaning your cat's teeth regularly is so important! Today, our Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic and Chuckanut Feline Center vets can provide information on gingivitis in cats, its symptoms, causes, and treatments.

What Is Gingivitis In Cats?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum or gingiva, which surrounds the teeth. The disease can range from moderate to severe, and in extreme cases, cats with gingivitis may have problems eating and grow very uncomfortable.

To remedy the condition, a tooth cleaning under anesthesia would be required. Just like humans, plaque - a buildup of germs, debris, dead skin cells, mucus, and food - can accumulate on the teeth and contribute to this dental issue.

Symptoms of Gingivitis in Cats

The common signs of gingivitis in cats are:

  • Red or swollen gums, especially around the area of the inner cheek
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty eating or not eating at all
  • Difficulty picking up toys or food
  • Drooling
  • Plaque build-up on the surface of the teeth
  • Calculi/tartar

Causes of Gingivitis in Cats

The common causes of gingivitis in cats include:

  • Bad Dental Care
  • Old age
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Soft Food
  • FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus)
  • Crowded teeth

Diagnosis of Gingivitis in Cats

Since cats are so adept at hiding their pain, they may not show any signs of discomfort even if they are in severe oral pain. Even cats who are eating normally and are active can have significant dental diseases.

Bringing your cat in for their annual routine exam is essential to the detection of dental disease, as a vet is often able to identify signs of conditions while observing an animal and checking for symptoms listed above.

Treatment for Cats with Gingivitis

Gingivitis treatment focuses on eliminating accumulated plaque and dental calculus, as well as treating or extracting destabilized and/or diseased teeth. To address any inflammatory dental disease, routine tooth cleanings and dental X-rays should be conducted under anesthetic.

For cats suffering from stomatitis to have a comfortable mouth, their teeth are frequently extracted by a veterinarian if it is called for.

The frequency of dental checkups will be determined by the degree of periodontal disease in your cat. If your adult cat's teeth are overcrowded, or if it has baby (deciduous) teeth, your veterinarian may recommend a tooth extraction. Your veterinarian will show you how to clean your cat's teeth, and you should schedule follow-up exams.

Maintaining Your Cat's Teeth

Cat-specific toothbrushes and toothpaste are available for purchase at pet supply stores and can help avoid gingivitis. Brushing should be introduced gradually and consistently so that cats become accustomed to it.

Get Your Cat Familiar With Toothbrushes And Toothpaste

Leave snacks on the counter near the toothpaste and toothbrush so cats can associate something positive with them. You can also place a dab of toothpaste for them to lick off your finger so they get accustomed to it.

Get Your Cat Used To You Touching Their Mouth

Choose a dental treat your cat enjoys and place it on its canine teeth. As they become accustomed to it, start placing it deeper and deeper into their mouth, on their teeth. This gets them used to you touching their mouth and makes it easier for you to introduce the toothpaste.

Brushing

With your cat used to the toothbrush, toothpaste, and you touching their mouth, it should be easier to brush their teeth. Brush along the gum line for about 15 to 30 seconds, only on the outside of the teeth, and reward them with a treat afterward.

Are you concerned with your cat's oral health? Contact our Burlington and Bellingham vets today for a consultation and possible treatment options.

New Patients Welcome

Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic and Chuckanut Feline Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Burlington and Bellingham companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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