Small Animal Dentistry is a rapidly growing interest among caregivers of companion animals. Dental disease is the most prevalent disease in dogs and cats and in most cases one of the most preventable diseases. Maintaining optimum oral health aids in tooth retention, ensures the ability to continue good nutrition throughout life, and contributes greatly to overall health and well-being. Just as we see in the human dental field, companion animal dental hygiene requires attention to diet and daily care.
What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?
All of our dental procedures are performed under a general anesthetic, which allows us to properly clean the teeth below the gumline. Pre-surgical blood is run prior to sedation to ensure your cat is healthy enough for sedation. IV fluids are administered to maintain blood pressure and hydration while under anesthetic. Your veterinarian will probe and chart the mouth and note any significant findings such as fractured teeth, reabsorptive lesions (feline cavities) and gingivitis. Digital dental x-rays are typically taken to detect decay and disease below the gumline. If decay is noted, the affected teeth will be removed and in many cases the gums are sutured. Remaining healthy teeth are scaled with our ultrasonic scaler and polished to remove dental calculus and tartar and pain medicine is administered prior to recovery.
What are signs of dental problems in cats?
Signs that your kitty may be suffering from some form of dental disease can include drooling, difficulty in eating or dropping kibble, tongue hanging out, rubbing and or pawing at the face, change in behaviour (more irritable) and a foul odour from the mouth.
Are some breeds more susceptible than others?
Some breeds, especially purebreds, tend to be more susceptible to dental disease, however, all cats can suffer from dental disease. Genetics, diet, health and nutrition in the early stages of life may impact a cat’s predisposition to dental disease.
What is feline tooth resorption?
Feline tooth resorption is an autoimmune condition where the root of the tooth is absorbed by the body. This condition is only found in cats and requires oral surgery to properly remove the remaining tooth. If left untreated, cats can develop tooth root abscesses, fractured teeth and exposed roots which can be very painful.