February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and we felt it was important to shine a spotlight on this critical area of your cat’s overall health and well-being! We’ve laid out a few important, and some may say, surprising facts about your kitten’s oral health.
FACT ONE: 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 certainly 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.
FACT TWO: MOST DENTAL DISEASE IS INVISIBLE
Most dental disease is hiding where you can’t see it. 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.
FACT THREE: NO, YOUR KITTEN’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
FACT FOUR: YOU CAN CARE FOR YOUR KITTEN'S Teeth
Although brushing your kitty’s teeth may not be possible, there are plenty of oral rinses and dental care toys to help maintain their pearly whites in-between visits to the vet!
FACT FIVE: GOOD ORAL HYGIENE CAN ADD YEARS TO YOUR KITTEN’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 pet’s gums and into their bloodstream, leading to many health issues! Stay on top of regular oral check-ups.