At about 4-6 months of age, kittens start losing their baby teeth and form their permanent teeth. An adult cat, after losing all of his baby teeth, should have 30 teeth - canines, incisors, pre-molars and molars. Once your cat has his adult teeth, dental exams should be done regularly. Toothaches and dental problems can be extremely painful and may cause your cat to stop eating or show symptoms of illness. Waiting until this point can often create undue stress and discomfort for your cat.
Dental problems, if left untreated, can often lead to larger systemic problems in your cat due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver.
Specific problems can include:
- Tartar Build-up
- Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORLs) - the feline cavity counterpart
- Lost or Broken Teeth
- Periodontal Disease
- Oral Cancer
Since cats very rarely get cavities, they are much more prone to gum disease and excessive tartar build-up. Food particles and bacteria collect along the gum line and if ignored, forms plaque. When plaque builds up and is not removed promptly, your cat's saliva combines with the plaque to form tartar. Irritating to the gums, the tartar causes an inflammation called gingivitis. Can you see the progression? The two most common dental diseases, gingivitis and periodontitis, are preventable through the regular removal of plaque. Unfortunately for most cats, while gingivitis is reversible, late stage periodontal disease is not and can cause further dental problems that most cats find painful. If diagnosed and treated by our vet it can be slowed or stopped. Book an appointment with our Veterinary Nurse for a check up today.