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At-Home Dental Care Helps Prevent Oral Disease


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Dental Health Dental Health
VETERINARY ADVANCES HAVE IMPROVED FELINE CARE AND LONGEVITY. However, oral disease continues to be a prevalent problem for cats. In fact, oral disease is the number-one health problem diagnosed in all pets. The triple threat to oral health:

PLAQUE - Plaque, a film of food particles and bacteria that collects along the gum line, precedes gum disease. Plaque may not be immediately noticeable, but accumulated food is easier to see (and sometimes smell).
TARTAR - If plaque is allowed to remain on teeth, minerals in your cat's saliva combine with it and form tartar (or calculus), which cements itself to teeth. Tartar irritates the gums and causes gum line inflammation called gingivitis, which is typically accompanied by bad breath.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE - Tartar left on your cat's teeth leads to periodontal disease, a condition that ultimately destroys oral health through inflammation and loss of the deep supporting structures of teeth.

Tartar eventually builds up underneath gums and separates them from teeth. This separation creates "pockets," in which bacteria grow rapidly. Bacteria cause infection and tissue degeneration, resulting in significant pain, loose teeth, abscesses, and bone loss or infection.

Simple steps to a healthy mouth
Boost your cat's oral health - and her overall well-being -
with these simple practices:
Visit your veterinarian regularly for oral examinations. Brush with toothpaste made for cats or use dental cleanser/ pads.
Schedule veterinary dental cleanings as advised. Feed hard kibble and hard treats to help remove plaque.
Examine your cat's mouth daily for:
  • inflamed or bleeding gums
  • a yellow-brown crust of tartar near the gum line
  • bad breath
  • discolored, fractured, or missing teeth
  • Provide fresh water to help rinse mouth surfaces.


    Report abnormalities or pain to your veterinarian immediately.

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