Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 14, 2023 by Crystal Uys
By the time they reach three years of age, about 80% of cats have oral health issues, with many showing the tell-tale signs of early onset periodontal disease.
Unfortunately, periodontal disease often goes untreated, because other than a foul smelling breath —something that many guardians just write off as “bad breath”—there are few other symptoms of the disease during its early stages. Periodontal disease can lead to multiple problems for your cat, including pain and, eventually, tooth loss.
What is periodontal disease?
Feline periodontal disease is a condition that affects a cat’s gums, rather than originating in the teeth themselves. Tooth loss and decay usually occur as a direct result of advanced periodontal disease. Feline periodontal disease develops when plaque and tartar extend below the gumline. The bacteria that are present in this “subgingival” plaque then begin to secrete toxins that result in inflammation, damaging the supporting tissues around the teeth.
Warning signs of periodontal disease
- bad breath
- inflamed gums that bleed easily
- gums that appear red
- receding gums
- sensitivity around the mouth
- pawing at the mouth
- missing or loose teeth
- reluctance or difficulty eating
- poor appetite
- pus leaking from around affected teeth
- stomach problems
- resorptive lesions on the teeth
Any of these signs warrants a visit to your veterinarian.
Dr. James Anthony, a boarded veterinary dentist with over 30 years of experience, provides in-depth information the warning signs of periodontal disease in this video.
If you prefer reading, click here to read a transcript of the video.
About Dr. Anthony
If Dr. Anthony’s name sounds familiar to some of you, it’s because you may have seen me mention him in connection with 1TDC™, a 4-in-1 wellness solution that has beneficial effects on periodontal and joint, skin, and coat health as well as overall stamina. Dr. Anthony conducted a double-blind periodontal health study with cats at The University of Saskatchewan. The results were published in The Journal of Periodontology in 2007 and 2009. His research demonstrated positive results beyond the studies published in the journal. “I was amazed at the positive results from the use of the 1TDC™ technology,” said Dr. Anthony, BSc(Agr), DVM, MRCVS, FAVD, DAVDC, DEVDC, Pag. “All periodontal measurements in the test animals improved significantly. The more I use the 1TDC™ technology, the more impressed I am.”
Featured Image Credit: dididesign021, Shutterstock
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.