Dr. Butch Schroyer, Animal Care Clinic – Feline Oral Health

IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT MANY CATS HAVE “IMPERFECT” MOUTHS. IN FACT, MOST CATS OVER AGE THREE HAVE SOME TYPE OF DENTAL DISEASE. DOCTOR BUTCH SCHROYER WITH THE ANIMAL CARE CLINIC IS HERE TO TELL US MORE. WELCOME. Talk about this mouth problem in cats. You say that a lot of cats have teeth issues, right? What causes this condition with cats’ teeth? What can cat owners do to help prevent this? ————————– ————————– ——————— 2 In addition to the more common cases of gingivitis and periodontal disease, anywhere from 30-70% of cats over age 6 actually suffer from Feline Tooth Resorption, more commonly called “TR”. This condition actually causes the cat’s teeth to become brittle, start dissolving away and even break off at the gum line.3 Veterinary dentists don’t know the exact cause of Tooth Resorption, but many theories have been offered. Some experts believe that there may be a viral cause, others point to chronic vomiting and still others discuss on- going inflammation as an issue.4 One recent study even implicated excess Vitamin D in commercial diets, but research in that area is still on-going. We also know that 800 year old cat skeletons show evidence of TR as well.5 Our feline friends don’t often show signs of any illness and TR is no exception. Some astute owners MIGHT notice that their cat is only chewing on one side or seems more moody than normal.6 When owners finally bring their cats to the veterinarian, the kitty is usually very uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. Occasionally, inflammation can be seen along the crown of the tooth.7 The only definitive way to diagnose Tooth Resorption is with dental x-rays. Specific changes in the density of the tooth’s shadow on x-ray will show your veterinarian where the disease has progressed. In some cases, the crown of the tooth or even the root will be completely dissolved!8 Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for TR that can save the teeth. Extractions are the only way to bring relief to the painful cat and, in some cases, almost all of a cat’s 28 teeth will need to be removed.9 The good news in all of this is that once your veterinarian is aware of the disease and extractions have been done, many cats will return to a very affectionate state. After all, their pain is gone!10 Because cats don’t show signs of pain overtly, it’s best to have your kitty friend

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