Cat Teeth Cleaning
A critical part of maintaining your cat’s health is ensuring that their teeth and mouths are in good shape. Regular cat teeth cleanings help to ward off gum disease and tooth decay before a problem develops. Add cat oral hygiene to your regular pet care routine to help your cat live a longer, healthier life.
SIs bad dental health a sign of an unhealthy cat?
Bad dental health, which can be indicated by terrible cat breath or irritability, is a sign of an unhealthy cat. Poor dental health can lead to many other health problems or malnourishment. A cat with a healthy mouth and teeth will feel better, have nicer breath, and will be more social than a cat with dental problems. Some problems that improved oral hygiene can prevent are:
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Malnourishment from inability or disinclination to eat
- Bad breath
- Irritability from tooth/ mouth soreness/ inability to eat properly
How often does my cat need his/her teeth cleaned?
Depending on a cat’s normal diet and lifestyle they may require cleanings bi-annually or yearly. If you are concerned about your cat’s oral health, regular cleanings are the best way to ensure that any issues are caught early. Teeth cleanings also allow us to examine your cat’s mouth and teeth to ensure that everything is healthy and in good working order.
Are there things that I can do at home to clean my cat’s teeth?
The veterinary staff at Affordable Animal Hospital in Whittier will be able to suggest what to do to ensure good oral hygiene is maintained at home between your cat’s scheduled cleanings.
How does good dental hygiene relate to overall health?
Good health starts in the mouth as this is where our nourishment enters the body. Your cat’s mouth and teeth are exposed to bountiful quantities of bacteria. Left un-cleaned, their teeth can develop plaque and tartar, eventually leading to painful tooth decay. Gum disease can also set in, which would expose your cat to potential infections that could affect other parts of the body.
Healthy teeth ensure better nourishment, alongside a good diet. Cat teeth cleanings will go a long way to keeping your kitty and happy and healthy for the long term. Don’t waste one of those 9 lives on poor dental hygiene – bring your cat in for regular cleanings instead!
Cat Tooth Extraction
A cat tooth extraction may be necessary if a tooth has serious decay. Teeth that require extraction can be identified with X-rays. A tooth that has decayed or that is causing your kitty problems should be examined immediately.
When would I know to bring my cat in for a tooth extraction?
If your cat is behaving in any of the following ways, it is best to bring your pet in for a checkup to determine whether an extraction should be performed:
- Pawing the mouth
- Changed behavior or eating habits
- Crying when eating or attempting to eat
- Avoiding eating
- Gums appear red or swollen or are bleeding
- The affected tooth changes color such as turning black or yellow
Our veterinarian may use X-rays to determine if decay or gum disease is the underlying problem. Examinations can be performed at a regularly scheduled cat teeth cleaning appointment, or when you observe your cat exhibiting symptoms of pain or discomfort.
Human pain relievers are not for cats
Pain relievers for people should never be used on cats. They have not been approved for use with pets and may make your pet ill or lead to health problems. As cats are significantly smaller than humans, they require a much lower dose of medication. Your cat will be prescribed specific cat pain relief medication after the tooth extraction is performed. The dosage amounts should be followed exactly for your cat’s health and safety.
The cat tooth extraction procedure
Your cat will be put under general anesthesia to ensure a stress-free, painless, and quick procedure. Once the tooth is extracted the socket will be surgically closed. The veterinarian will let you know how to proceed with feeding and caring for your cat after the procedure. They will also provide you with specific instructions on the administration of pain relief medication and antibiotics to ward off infection.
Things to be alert for after a tooth extraction
After your cat’s tooth extraction, be alert for the following:
- Swelling in the face which could be an indication of an infection
- Loss of appetite
- Continued bleeding from the extraction site
Call our office or bring your cat in if you suspect any problems, which are rare.