Dental disease is one of the most common conditions seen by veterinarians. Approximately 70% of cats that don't receive proper dental care will develop signs of dental disease by the age of 3. Bad breath is often just a minor symptom of the more severe dental disease occurring in your cat's mouth. The most common dental problems are due to periodontal disease and gingivitis. Periodontal disease is an infection caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. It often starts with mild tooth discoloration but without regular cleaning, this plaque builds up and turns into tartar. Tartar digs into the gums where bacteria become trapped and cause infections. If left untreated, this periodontal disease often results in tooth and gum infections, pain, loss of teeth and even organ damage in cats.
Dental disease can be easily prevented by following your veterinarian's advice regarding dental examination, home care and professional dental cleanings.
Even if you are performing the recommended daily tooth brushing, your cat will intermittently require dental cleanings by their veterinarian to prevent periodontal disease from occurring. Typically a once yearly cat teeth cleaning is recommended, however, the frequency of these cleanings will depend on the success of the
at-home dental care. They may be as frequent
as every 4 to 6 months in a cat with severe
periodontal disease or only every 2 to 3
years if a cat owner has been dedicated
to maintaining their cats' dental
health at home.