It is tartar on the teeth that causes gum disease,
bad breath and eventually loss of teeth. Popular belief (even among
vets) is that tartar is caused by the lack of abrasive food material
to clean the teeth. Special diets to stop tooth tartar and gum disease
are designed to create an abrasive action to clean the teeth.
It is true that bone and hide chews will help to
clean the teeth (hard biscuit will not) but the main reason why
cats and dogs get tartar on the teeth is because waste material
dissolved in the body fluids (saliva) washes over the teeth and
form plaque. A highly digestible, good quality food will not cause
an accumulation of waste products in the body when fed correctly.
Symptoms of mouth problems include:
* Bad breath
* Poor Appetite due to pain (which in turn may lead to weight loss)
* Drooling saliva (which may include a little blood)
* Discoloured teeth
* Red/receding gums
* Pawing at the mouth
* Mouth ulcers
* Foreign object trapped in the mouth
* Viral infections
* Immune system dysfunctions
* Poor diet
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums and Stomatitis
is inflammation of the mucus membranes in the mouth.
According to vets in the USA, the most common cause
of dental and mouth problems in cats is poor nutrition. For example;
many cat foods contain added salts, sugars, flavourings and preservatives.
Vets may recommend that you use a pet toothpaste
and an antiseptic mouthwash for your cat. Gingivitis may be treated
with antibiotics and other drugs, but in extreme cases surgery may
If you do not want to buy toothpaste then brushing
your cat’s teeth with a mild salt solution instead can help.
However, as with most health problems a good diet is very important.
pet health problems
John Burns Pet Health