If you've recently welcomed a tiny feline friend into your home, you're undoubtedly looking forward to spending many happy years with your pet — and this means making certain that your new kitten receives the proper vaccinations, is fed a nutritious diet, is treated for any possible parasites, and is on a good preventive dental health program. In the past, cat owners simply assumed that cats' teeth required no special care because cats typically don't suffer from oral health issues, but recent advances in veterinary technology have shown this to be untrue.
Cats suffer from many of the same oral health issues as their human counterparts, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, but the most common condition is something known as odontoclastic resorptive lesions, or tooth resorption.
Because cats are stoic animals that are hard-wired by nature not to let on when they're experiencing pain or distress, it can be difficult for their humans to know when something is wrong. Following are five signs that your feline friend may need to see a veterinary specialist who practices pet dental care.
Most cats don't drool nearly as much as their canine counterparts — they simply don't have the same amount of salivary glands. If your cat suddenly begins to drool unexpectedly, that may a sign that your cat is experiencing tooth resorption, particularly if it's accompanied by chattering teeth or a shivering jaw. This usually signifies advanced tooth resorption, which is usually quite painful for cats even though they don't show it. Your cat needs to see a pet dental health specialist as soon as possible if you suspect that it may be suffering from tooth resorption.
Decrease in Appetite
Cats who experience a sudden decline in appetite are often believed to be suffering from the onset of serious digestive disorders. While this is definitely a concern, it's also possible that gum disease is the culprit. If your cat noticeably flinches when you touch its mouth area, you need to make an appointment with a pet dental clinic.
Sudden Increase in Aggressive Behavior
The most common cause of a sudden increase in aggressive behavior in cats is the presence of a new feline in its territory. If this isn't the case with your cat, the behavior is most likely triggered by a physical change that is causing the animal pain — and this often means that dental issues are a part of the picture, especially if your cat isn't limping or otherwise showing visible signs of physical distress. A thorough vet checkup should be performed to find the root cause and devise an appropriate plan of pet dental care treatment.