Dental Care for Cats
Your pet’s oral health is extremely important. Poor oral hygiene (tartar, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and resorptive enamel lesions can lead to a painful mouth and is a major cause of premature aging in our pets. Periodontal disease can serve as a source of infection that enters the blood stream and affects overall kidney, liver, lung, and heart health. Together we can create a program that suits your lifestyle and meets the needs of your pet.
Pet Care Veterinary Hospital offers advanced dental care to your pets. All dental cleanings performed include digital dental X-rays and a tooth-by-tooth assessment by our doctors. Pets are anesthetized for dental procedures and are constantly monitored by a doctor and a specially trained licensed veterinary technician.
Your pet’s comfort and safety is our primary concern. We offer safe and effective pain management, including local anesthesia to numb your pet’s mouth if necessary. Should your pet have damaged or diseased teeth, please know that extraction is not your only option.
Other dental services offered by Pet Care Veterinary Hospital include:
- Periodontal surgery and therapy
- Oral fractures and other oral emergencies
- How to care for your pet’s teeth at home
- Preventive care
Resorptive Enamel Lesions
Feline tooth resorption is a common and painful condition in domestic cats. The teeth become functionally destroyed as sections of tooth are resorbed, leaving areas of exposed tooth tissue below the enamel and weakened roots.
These lesions were originally called feline “neck lesions” or cat “cavities” because the tooth damage was typically observed in the “neck” region of the tooth where the tooth meets the gum line. Neck lesions can appear as areas of reddened tissue at the tooth-gum interface, almost as if the gingival (gum) tissue is growing into the tooth or is covering over the base of the tooth. In some cases, there appears to be a “hole” or concavity in the tooth. In fact, many of these lesions are not clinically apparent until dental radiographs are taken. This is a key reason that Pet Care Veterinary Hospital includes dental radiographs with all dental cleanings.
The exact cause of tooth resorption has not been definitively established, but we do know that the bacteria found in the oral cavity will make these lesions worse. Therefore, maintenance of good oral hygiene will help discourage progression. It has been reported that 60% of cats over 6 years of age have at least one of these resorptive lesions and once diagnosed will very likely develop additional lesions in the future.
Since bacteria in the mouth worsen the inflammation and pain associated with resorptive neck lesions, it is ideal to manage oral hygiene through brushing your cat’s teeth daily, or three times weekly at a minimum. Watch for the gum tissue growing onto or into tooth resorption defects. Also observe for excess salivation, gums that bleed easily when brushed, gingival inflammation, and reluctance to chew hard foods.