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Keeping An Eye On Your Cat’s Health? Here’s Something You Can’t See: Cavities

November 13, 2013

When it comes to my grays, I’m hyper aware of their well-being. From pulled nails to chipped teeth, we try to stay on top of our cats’ health in order to provide them with the best care possible.

That said, we can only help them if we know about an issue. So when I came across some facts about cats and cavities, I sat up and read closely — I wasn’t familiar with most of it.

Here’s the big one: Cats get cavities, but you don’t see them.

Photo courtesy Paulin’a.

It’s pretty easy to tell when we get cavities, since our cavities usually start on outside of the tooth and work their way inward. But in cats, it’s totally different. Their cavities, which are called resorptive lesions, start under the gum line at the neck of the tooth. Consequently, many people may not know that their cat has a cavity until a tooth falls out.

And here’s what makes it that much more serious: Cavities are painful for our cats, too.

If you’ve ever had a cavity, broken tooth, or other serious dental issue, then you know how painful this can be. What hurts my heart that much more is that it’s instinctual for our cats to not show pain, which means that they won’t let on if they’re living with one of these conditions.

Lastly, it’s rather likely that your cat may develop some sort of dental issue in his life. In fact, studies show that 70 percent of cats show signs of gum disease by the time they turn three.

Feel helpless (like I first did)?

There are several things you can do. For example, consider feeding your cat a diet specifically for dental health. Other dry foods play a little, if any, role in keeping their teeth clean and healthy. Chat with your veterinarian if this is something you’d like to consider.

Second, keep your eyes open for dental disease. The big warning signs include bad breath, red or swollen gums, drooling, missing teeth, tartar or plaque build up, and difficulty eating. Visit your vet if you think your cat may be suffering from some of these conditions, and in the meantime, make sure your vet checks out your cat’s teeth during every visit. And while you’re at it, also keep an eye open for chipped or broken teeth, too. You never know what may be the consequences of a CH-related tumble!

Finally, some recommend that you start a home dental care regime with your feline. While that may seem hilarious, if not impossible, to a few of you, don’t write it off so quickly. Consider bringing this up during your next vet visit to find out more.

Click here for more interesting facts about cats’ mouths.

How would you rate your cat’s dental health? Please share in the comments!

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