Dental Disease is the Most Common Problem Cats Face

Cat teeth

Dental disease is the most common problem that both young and old cats face.  Approximately 85% of felines that are aged three years and older have some type of dental disease. Just like humans as cat aged, dental disease becomes common and severe.  Tartar formation and accumulation of dental plaque are usually linked to dental disease in cats, which can lead to periodontal disease.

The common causes of dental disease in cats are:

Plaque – is a sticky and soft film that is full of bacteria and develops on the surface of the teeth.  As films of plaque accumulate, it will become visible; it’s the grey or yellowish film on the teeth surface.  Since plaque is the most common cause of dental disease in cats, it is very essential to take measures to reduce its development and prevent dental disease.  Brushing your cat’s teeth will remove plaque and keep their gums healthy as well.

Tartar or Calculus – is the yellowish or brownish deposits on the surface of the teeth.  These layers of undisturbed plaque became hard because of substances like calcium that are deposited on the plaque layer.  Since tartar is very hard, a simple brushing of the teeth won’t get remove it.  Therefore, a procedure called “dental scaling” is usually done to successfully remove tartar.

Other factors that contribute to dental disease in felines include:


Poor oral hygiene


Tooth Alignment

Infectious disease

Periodontal Disease in Cats

Periodontal diseases are diseases located around the outside of the teeth.

Common Periodontal Diseases are:

Gingivitis – is the inflammation of the gum/s that surrounds the teeth or gingiva.  This condition is very common in cats of all ages.  The severity also varies with each affected cats.

Severities of Gingivitis:

Mild Gingivitis

Moderate Gingivitis

Severe Gingivitis

Feline Resorptive Lesions or FRLs – is a type of periodontal disease that affects young and old felines.  It is the erosion of the teeth that are usually formed around the neck of the teeth.  Over 70% of cats that are five years and older are estimated to have at least one FRL.  But in some cats FRL are found below the gum line.  Untreated FRL’s can cause so much pain and can lead to a tooth crown fracture that will leave the root behind.

Periodontitis – this very advance gum disease is usually found in senior cats.  This disease will cause the gums to be very inflamed.  Large amount of tartar are usually found in the teeth.  The presence of pus surrounding the affected tooth is typical because of bacterial infection.  The affected tooth/teeth are exposed and become very unstable as the supporting ligaments around it are diseased.  The only way to treat this disease is by extraction.

Now that you know a little more about dental disease in cats, make sure to keep up with their dental care needs.  A routine dental check-up, cleaning and teeth brushing will help their teeth become healthy and disease-free.

Image via barbourians at

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