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Tooth Trouble in Cats

Recently, Minx has had terrible tooth trouble. A while back she started to be very picky with her food and I didn’t think too much of it. She is a cat after all and they are all prone to being fussy about their food. However regardless of what she was offered she was reluctant to eat and sometimes even ran away from her food!

Concerned at this development I took her to the vet. Minx is now twelve years old and I was worried there was some underlying health problem. After several visits, treatments and tooth extractions Minx was diagnosed with Gingivitis. Basically she has a virus which can affect any cat and causes very sore red gums and dental problems. As a virus it will always stay within an affected cats’ system but can be triggered by a build-up of plaque on teeth especially at the gum line. Plaque is a hardened organic material that slowly builds up on teeth and is made up of food particle, saliva and bacteria! Stress can also be a key trigger for a flare up so even with careful monitoring of her teeth there is no guarantee there will not be future problems.

Minx has always had her check-ups and has had her teeth cleaned so I was dismayed at this diagnosis. An infection you can get rid of but a virus will always lurk there waiting for an opportunity to strike. We all know the horror of toothache but it must be awful for a feline carnivore to not be able to eat and to be in such pain!

I am not a vet and I am not going to dish out medical advice here about anything but I really recommend that you try and inspect your cat’s mouth regularly to try spot issues before they become a really painful problem. Ideally you should be able to get your kitten used to a regular check of their gums but I know an older cat can be very resistant and it is not worth losing a limb for!

On your vet visits I think it is a good idea to ask the vet to have a look at your cats mouth. Also, an annual dental could save you a lot of money in the long term and give you some peace of mind.