Cats can face dental problems too. When they do, they need the services of a cat dentist. Cat dentists are veterinarians who specialize in feline oral health. Here are four reasons your cat may need to go to the dentist:
1. Broken Teeth
Broken teeth aren't a very common problem, but cats can injure themselves biting particularly hard objects or foods. Older cats with more fragile teeth are more likely to suffer from tooth fractures. If your cat fractures a tooth, they will need immediate medical attention. Broken teeth can cause a significant amount of pain, and they can become infected if left untreated. Your cat's dentist may pull the tooth if it's not located in a vital area. If your cat breaks one of their canine teeth, the dentist may choose to perform a root canal in order to save the tooth.
2. Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is another reason to take your cat to the dentist. Cats don't have the language necessary to tell their owners about tooth pain, but you can infer it through behavioral changes. Cats with sore teeth may stop eating, which can cause weight loss. You may also notice your cat becoming more withdrawn, irritable, or aggressive. Cats with tooth pain may stop grooming themselves. A cat dentist can take x-rays of your cat's teeth in order to find cavities that may be causing their discomfort.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease can affect cats as well. It usually presents as inflammation. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, and it's more likely to affect cats who don't have their teeth brushed on a regular basis. If you notice that your cat's gums are bleeding or if they look red and inflamed, you should make an appointment with a cat dentist. Cat dentists can treat periodontal disease by carefully cleaning below your cat's gums. In order to keep your cat safe and calm during this treatment, they will be given general anesthesia.
4. Bad Breath
Bad breath can be a symptom of an undiagnosed oral health condition. If you notice that your cat has bad breath, especially if the condition isn't relieved by breath-freshening treats, you should take your cat to the dentist. X-rays and an oral examination will allow your dentist to find the source of the problem. It's best to catch dental problems as soon as possible, so they can be treated before they begin to cause your cat pain.