What is Periodontal Disease in Cats?

What is Periodontal Disease in Cats?

What is it?

Periodontal disease in cats is a common condition characterized by inflammation and infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth. The condition is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which leads to the development of bacteria that irritate the gums and cause inflammation. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and more serious health problems.

How is it Treated?

Periodontal disease in cats can be treated through a combination of professional dental cleaning and at-home oral care. Professional dental cleaning involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and under the gumline. At-home oral care can involve regular toothbrushing with cat-safe toothpaste, dental chews, and/or a special dental diet.

Breed Predispositions

Siamese and Persians


When Oscar, a charming Siamese cat, began showing signs of discomfort while eating and developed bad breath, his owner, Susan, knew something wasn’t right. Concerned about Oscar’s well-being, she took him to their trusted veterinarian for a thorough examination. After a detailed oral assessment, the veterinarian diagnosed Oscar with periodontal disease, a common dental problem that can affect cats of all breeds and ages.

Periodontal disease in cats is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. This condition affects cats’ health and quality of life. Cats suffer from periodontal infectious disease much as humans do. They may develop gum infections, tooth decay, loose teeth, and abscessed teeth.

This condition can lead to pain and discomfort in the cat’s mouth and eventually cause serious complications such as stomatitis, jaw fractures, kidney failure, and death. In addition, because cats don’t have the same immune system as dogs, they are susceptible to developing periodontal disease.

In addition, cats tend to bite each other more often than dogs do. Therefore, they are more likely to develop dental problems.

What Causes Gum Disease in Cats?

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria living in plaque, which forms on teeth and gums. When plaque builds up over time, it becomes tartar. Tartar causes gum inflammation, which leads to periodontal disease.

Cats develop periodontal disease faster than dogs due to their shorter snouts and smaller mouths. As a result, cats are more likely to suffer from tooth loss.

Several factors contribute to cat periodontal disease, including genetics, diet, age, dental care habits, and environment. Some of these factors are beyond our control, while others we can influence.

What Causes Gum Disease in Cats?
  • Genetics: Genetics plays a role in whether or not a cat develops periodontal disease. Certain breeds, like Siamese and Persians, are prone to periodontal disease, whereas other breeds, like Maine Coons, are less susceptible.
  • Diet: Many commercial diets contain ingredients that lead to plaque build-up, contributing to periodontal disease development. Feeding dry food instead of canned foods can help prevent plaque build-up.
  • Age: Older cats are more likely to develop periodontal problems.
  • Behavior: Poor oral hygiene practices are common among older cats who have lost their instincts. These cats may lick themselves excessively, spreading bacteria into the mouth.
  • Environment: Environmental conditions play a large part in whether or not a pet gets periodontal disease. For example, your cat could become ill if your home is damp, moldy, or dirty.

In addition to genetic predisposition, poor nutrition, and environmental factors, certain medical conditions can also contribute to cat periodontal diseases. Diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, and immune system disorders can weaken the body’s ability to fight infections.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease in Cats

Cats who suffer from periodontal disease usually experience pain and discomfort in their mouth. Cats with periodontal disease may also have trouble breathing due to airway inflammation. And the loss of appetite.

Symptoms of periodontal disease also include:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth loss
Diagnosis for Cat Gum Disease

Diagnosis for Cat Gum Disease

Periodontal disease (gum disease) commonly affects cats’ mouths. Your veterinarian may perform a dental exam to examine your cat’s teeth and gums. This includes looking at the soft tissues inside your cat’s mouth, including the tongue, cheeks, lips, palate, and throat.

Your vet may use X-rays to help diagnose periodontal disease. However, cat periodontal disease can be challenging to diagnose without x-ray images. An X-ray shows the bones, muscles, and tissue inside your cat’s mouth. These images show whether there are signs of bone loss, tooth decay, or infection.

Treatment for Feline Periodontal Disease

While prevention is always preferable, treatment options exist if your cat suffers from periodontal disease. There are two types of treatments available: surgical procedures and non-surgical methods. Surgical procedures are typically reserved for severe cases, while non-surgical methods treat milder cases.

  1. Non-surgical treatments include scaling and root planning, which involves scraping off the tartar build-up on your cat’s teeth. Scaling and root planning help remove bacterial deposits that are causing the inflammation. Other non-surgical methods include administering antibiotics and applying special diets.
  2. Surgical procedures are generally reserved for more severe cases of periodontal disease. These surgeries involve removing damaged parts of the gums and bones and replacing them with healthy tissues. Depending on the severity of your cat’s case, surgery could be performed through either traditional means or laser therapy. Traditional surgery requires anesthesia and stitches, whereas laser surgery uses heat energy to remove diseased tissue.

Whether you treat your cat’s periodontal disease surgically or non-surgically, it’s essential to seek professional care as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment can help minimize the effects of periodontal disease and prevent further complications.

How to Prevent Gum Disease in Cats?

To prevent periodontal disease in your cat, you should follow these tips:

  1. Brush your cat’s teeth regularly. Use a soft brush and avoid brushing too vigorously. Brushing too aggressively can damage your cat’s teeth.
  2. Feed your cat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods contain antioxidants that fight against free radicals, which contribute to plaque formation. And did you know that Up to 60 percent of cats can be helped by combining dietary changes and medications? Conversely, 40 percent of cats struggle with varying oral inflammation despite treatment. Also, do not feed your cat dry kibble. Dry kibble contains little nutrition, and it can promote plaque accumulation.
  3. Make sure your cat gets plenty of exercises. Exercise helps improve her overall health and reduces stress levels.
  4. Avoid giving your cat sugar-filled treats. Sugar promotes plaque build-up.
  5. Be careful about where your cat licks. If your cat licks their paws frequently, you should wash them thoroughly.
  6. Check your cat’s teeth every month. Regularly inspecting your cat’s teeth can help detect any signs of periodontal disease early.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common form of periodontal disease in cats is gingivitis. It occurs when plaque accumulates around the teeth and causes inflammation. This leads to gum recession and tooth loss. The onset of this condition usually starts at about six months of age. Cats older than five years of age are more likely to develop severe cases of periodontal disease. However, if your cat is younger than three years old, you should still take him to the vet for regular dental care.

The cause of periodontal disease is plaque build-up. Plaque is made up of food particles, dead cells, and saliva. If you don’t brush your cat’s teeth properly, then plaque can build up on your cat’s teeth. This causes tartar (calcium deposits) which irritates the gums and makes them bleed. When this happens, the gums become inflamed and infected. Eventually, they pull away from the teeth and form pockets under the gums. Bacteria can grow in these pockets and cause periodontal disease.

To prevent periodontal disease, you should keep your teeth clean! Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once per day. It would be best to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning. Your dentist can remove tartar and plaque before it becomes too hard to treat.

Yes! Wet cat food contains bacteria that cause gingivitis. Wet cat food is a source of bacteria that cause gingival inflammation. The bacteria from wet cat food enter the mouth through the gums and cause gum disease.

The most common form of gingivitis is caused by plaque build-up. Plaque is a sticky material on teeth and the gum line. It’s made up of dead cells, minerals, and food particles. When you brush your teeth, you remove some of this plaque.

However, you’ll still get plaque if you don’t clean your tongue after eating. This plaque hardens into tartar (calcified plaque). Tartar can irritate the gums and lead to gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease.

The cost of a tooth extraction varies depending on the type of surgery needed. The most common types of surgeries include;

  • Simple Extractions (Extraction without root canal) – $200-$400
  • Root Canal Extractions – $500-$800
  • Endodontic surgery – $2,000+

Tooth extractions can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. General anesthesia is used when there is a risk of infection or bleeding. Local anesthesia is used when there are no risks involved.

There is no conclusive evidence that dental disease in cats is fatal. However, several factors can contribute to developing health problems associated with chronic oral disease (e.g., inflammation and tooth decay), which could ultimately lead to death. If your cat has any signs or symptoms of health problems related to dental disease, contact your veterinarian for advice and assistance.

Some cats may develop the periodontal disease within a few weeks or months after beginning to experience dental problems, while others may take more extended periods.

Gum disease can be treated at home with various solutions, including mouth rinses and toothpaste. Some veterinarians also prescribe antibiotics or acids to clear the infection.

Periodontal disease is a severe gum infection that can lead to tooth loss. Treatment usually includes antibiotics and oral hygiene instructions. Vets may also place an antibiotic gel or cream onto the gums to help fight the infection.

Dental disease progresses quickly in cats. Symptoms may not be evident for several weeks or months, and the condition can eventually lead to tooth loss.

A litter of kittens may contract the periodontal disease at any age, but it is more commonly seen between 6-8 weeks and 8-10 months old.

There is no definitive answer, but periodontal pain may cause cats discomfort. Some potential causes of periodontal pain in cats include plaque accumulation and infection. If your cat experiences significant periodontal pain or if the condition is not responding to treatment, you should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for additional evaluation.

Dentistry is not as important in cats as it is in humans. But a few types of dental diseases can be severe but relatively rare. For example, cancers of the mouth and throat (larynx) most commonly occur in older cats and are usually fatal if not detected early.

There is no scientific evidence that dental disease can cause diabetes in cats. However, some anecdotal evidence suggests that a cat with diabetes may have gum disease or other dental problems. There is also the possibility that the teeth and gums of a diabetic cat are sensitive to touch, which could result in increased inflammation and pain around the teeth and gums. Therefore, if your cat has signs of diabetes, such as frequent thirst, poor appetite, heavy breathing, or increased urination, it may be advisable to see a veterinarian for evaluation.

In cats, periodontal disease often resembles gingivitis or even full-blown tooth loss. In addition, it may cause an altered oral sensation and bleeding from the mouth.

If you have a cat with periodontal disease, there are several things you can do to help them. First, ensure their diet consists of high-quality nutrition that will help promote good oral health. Second, give them frequent brushing and flossing sessions to remove plaque and debris around their teeth and gums. Finally, visit your vet for treatment if needed.

There is no definitive answer, but some experts believe that dental disease may be a possible cause of seizures in cats. However, seizures can be caused by various factors, and it is difficult to know which specific condition led to the attack in any cat.

However, if your cat has been having frequent seizures or seems to be struggling with controlling them, it would likely benefit from being evaluated by a veterinarian for conditions such as brain tumors or other serious underlying health problems.

Periodontal disease is estimated to affect between 50% and 75% of cats. However, there can be considerable individual variation in the prevalence of this disease.

If you have gingivitis, it’s a sign that you might also have other dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum inflammation. If this is the case, you should see your dentist and get evaluated and treated for any underlying issues.

Many factors can affect the development of periodontal disease. Some of these include:

  • Genetics – some pets are more likely to develop periodontal disease than others, and this may be due to specific gene variations
  • Age – as they age, our immune system tends to become less effective at fighting off infections, which can lead to the development of Periodontal Disease.
  • Diet – eating high levels of sugar and processed foods has been linked with an increased risk of developing Periodontal Disease.

A plaque is a build-up of food, bacteria, and saliva on the teeth. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.

Periodontal disease is treated with professional dental procedures such as periodontal surgery, tooth extraction, and implants.

If your cat has gingivitis, it may cause bleeding from its gums. Gingivitis can also lead to plaque build-up on the teeth, making them look yellow and bad. If you notice these signs in your cat, consult a veterinarian.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

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