Should cat go for dental care?

traveil

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
81
Reaction score
87
I’ve adopted a middle aged cat last year and have always wondered if she needs dental care? I’ve seen a lot of stories regarding cats getting dental diseases which scares me but the thought of my beloved cat being anesthetised for it scares me more. Last year when I brought her to the vet for vaccination, the vet told me there is tartar in her mouth but still generally ok so I’ve dismissed the idea. But after living with her for a year, I can smell her bad breath everytime she yawns (Lol). Is her teeth getting worse?

Advices pls!
 

MissClouseau

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
1,410
Reaction score
1,714
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Are you brushing her teeth? Give dental treats? Tooth gels? Water additives?

You should care for her teeth daily. Whether she needs dental procedure or not depends on the case.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

traveil

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
81
Reaction score
87
Are you brushing her teeth? Give dental treats? Tooth gels? Water additives?

You should care for her teeth daily. Whether she needs dental procedure or not depends on the case.
Hello! I’m a new cat owner myself and my first time having a cat so I do not know how to brush her teeth. I do give her dental treats because her breath stinks and nothing more. :eek:
 

MissClouseau

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
1,410
Reaction score
1,714
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Hello! I’m a new cat owner myself and my first time having a cat so I do not know how to brush her teeth. I do give her dental treats because her breath stinks and nothing more. :eek:
There are videos on YouTube showing how to brush teeth. However, if there is already moderate to severe level gingivitis (gum disease) brushing now might be riskier actually by irritating the gums more. So for now I would suggest no-brush tooth gels for cats.

Personally I'm not a fan of anesthesia just for teeth cleaning as I don't see pros of it outweighing the cons BUT, their dental issues get bad enough at one point that they need dental X-ray and tooth extraction under anesthesia - when it's being done, of course teeth cleaning can be done too. I wouldn't wait senior age years if there is no particular, extra risk for operation.
 

cataholic07

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
782
Reaction score
960
Dental cleanings are important for cats with bad teeth. Gingivitis is painful and yes its hard to brush their teeth when they have it. Sometimes its easier just to get the cleaning done, then start brushing the teeth daily with cat toothpaste.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
13,923
Reaction score
11,951
Location
USA
Regular vets are often unfamiliar with dental hygiene in pets. You should get an opinion from a veterinary dentist and have any current dental issues addressed. Then you can start on home dental care. Tooth bushing is best. Most dental treats as useless as are dental dry food diets. Water additives are are also useless IMO and may add an off taste or smell to the water which results in a cat not drinking.

There's a video of how to brush a cat's teeth here:

 

kissthisangel

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2015
Messages
456
Reaction score
338
you should regularly check oral hygiene for your cat. Bad breath, bleeding gums, missing/ decaying teeth are not good signs. Additionally, you should often check their mouths for any inflamed or darker areas, refusal to eat, difficulty chewing or reluctance to groom/eat are also not good signs. Darker areas alone are possibly just markings and alone do not necessarily mean the cat has oral problems, for example my cat has a massive black mark on her upper pallet and that was there since birth, but if you are ever unsure, take them to the vet. Dental problems can lead to bad/hard to manage eating habits, grooming habits, stress, which cause worse problems down the line.

Your cat's breath isn't exactly going to smell of colgate but if you're screwing your nose up whilst she's resting on your chest then she probably needs a dental check up.
 

Cutegrapefrute

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Your vet should check your cats teeth at their yearly exam and if needed schedule an appointment for a veterinary cleaning or other needed care. They will often advise you to check your pet's teeth at home and brush them.

You can check your cat's gums and teeth by holding their head and lifting their lips up. if the gums look very red in certain spots they most likely have the gingivitis from plaque buildup, dark spots can be normal coloration but if you notice a new one appear you should get it check out. Sometimes you can see tartar or plaque on the teeth. plaque is like chunky and usually whitish or yellowish and will come off with brushing, tarter is hard buildup that needs professional removal.

I think if your cat has no seen a vet in over a year, its definitely time to schedule an exam and make sure to express concern about their oral health. Or simply just call and ask about the dental procedures they can perform. most vets can do a cleaning, but its important to get an exam as well to make sure there are no serious problems with their teeth. tartar will definitely get worse over time. dental disease works pretty much the same in animals as in people. a person should be getting tarter removed 2 times a year. a cat may not need to have it done as often but if its not taken care of, it will lead to more extensive periodontal disease over time.

p.s. i have never had luck with dental treats with dogs so i doubt i would have luck with cats. in my opinion its more the chewing of a hard treat or food that helps, not really the special ingredients marketed in those dental sticks and etc. you may want to try them anyway but the BEST thing you can do is have her mouth looked at and cleaned professionally.
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
10,126
Reaction score
17,998
Since we've had two cats with FORL I would second having your vet examine her. I would also second seeing a veterinary dental specialist - many, but not all, vets have a specialist either in their office or one who comes to their office on a regular basis. Because you mentioned not seeing the vet for a year I think it's time for her to get a yearly check up especially since you said she is a middle aged senior. Best of luck, please keep us posted on her progress. :hearthrob:
 
Top