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Educational Articles

Cats + Dental

  • Oral swellings are never normal in a cat's mouth. Oral swellings occur from diseases such as local trauma, infection, fluid accumulation and cancer.

  • Oral fibrosarcomas are rapidly growing, malignant tumors originating from the fibrous connective tissue of the mouth and may be cured by surgical removal. Recurrence in the mouth and spread to other parts of the body (metastasis) are common.

  • Like us, cats can develop oral masses. Some will grow slowly and won't spread to other locations (benign), while others will spread to different areas of the body causing great harm (malignant).

  • Oral fibrosarcomas are rapidly growing, malignant tumors originating from the fibrous connective tissue of the mouth and may be cured by surgical removal. Recurrence in the mouth and spread to other parts of the body (metastasis) are common.

  • Occasionally, teeth in cats do not come out in the right location, which may create pain when they close their mouths. When this happens, decisions on what to do come down to either moving the teeth to comfortable positions, decreasing the height of the teeth so they do not stick into the opposite jaw, or moving the teeth to comfortable and functional positions.

  • Plaque forms on teeth shortly after eating and within 24 hours begins to harden and eventually turns into tartar. Tartar serves as a place for bacteria to grow, leading to gingivitis. As gingivitis worsens, periodontal disease develops which includes inflammation, pain, and tooth loss. Prevention of plaque and tartar build-up is key; use a VOHC accepted food and water additive, wipe or brush your cat’s teeth daily, and have your veterinarian perform regular dental cleanings.

  • Like humans, cats have two sets of teeth in their lives. There are 26 deciduous teeth, also known as their primary, baby, milk, or kitten teeth, and 30 permanent teeth, also known as their adult teeth.

  • Dental X-rays in cats are similar to those taken in humans. In many cases, intraoral dental X-rays are necessary to identify and treat dental problems in your cat. Nearly two-thirds of each tooth is located under the gum line. Your cat will need to be anesthetized in order to accurately place the X-ray sensor and perform a thorough oral assessment, treatment, and prevention procedures.

  • Tooth resorption (TR) is one of the more common oral abnormalities seen in cats. In the past, tooth resorption was referred to as feline oral resorptive lesions, odontoclastic resorptions, cavities, caries, cervical neck lesions, external or internal root resorptions, and cervical line erosions.

  • A tooth root abscess is a severe infection that develops around the root of a tooth usually occurring from a broken or traumatized tooth.