February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and we felt it was important to shine a spotlight on this critical area of your pet’s overall health and well-being! We’ve laid out a few essential, and some may say, surprising facts about your cat’s oral health.
MOST CATS WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH GUM DISEASE
Approximately 70% of cats will have periodontal gum disease by reaching 3 years of age. This disease is undoubtedly preventable, and every effort should be made to do so since there’s a chance your pet has incurred irreversible damage by the time they’ve been diagnosed. Ensure your cat receives an oral health exam at least once a year from their veterinarian.
MOST DENTAL DISEASE IS INVISIBLE
Most dental diseases are hiding where you can’t see them. Invisible bacteria sits below the gum line and can damage the tissues connecting the teeth and jaw. It’s so important to have your veterinarian take the time to do a thorough oral exam once a year.
NO, YOUR CAT’S BAD BREATH IS NOT NORMAL
Many people believe that smelly breath is a normal aspect of owning a pet. If your fur baby has bad breath, it could be a sign of gum disease or other ailments, and you should have the symptom looked at by a veterinarian. Here are other signs your pet’s oral health may not be so “fresh”:
- Redness of the gums
- Loose teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Broken teeth
- Tenderness around the mouth and/or teeth
- Drooling or dropping food
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loss of appetite/poor appetite
- Weight loss
YOU CAN CARE FOR YOUR CAT'S Teeth
Although brushing your cat’s teeth won’t always be possible, there are plenty of oral rinses and dental care toys to help maintain their pearly whites in-between visits to the vet!
GOOD ORAL HYGIENE CAN ADD YEARS TO YOUR CAT’S LIFE
Taking proper care of your pet’s teeth and mouth can add 1-2 years to your pet’s life. If dental disease is left untreated, harmful bacteria can make their way from your cat’s gums and into their bloodstream, leading to many health issues! Stay on top of regular oral check-ups and daily, if not weekly, brushing to help your pet maintain quality oral hygiene.