MSPCA-Angell Vet Answers: Cat Gingivitis

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    MSPCA-Angell Vet Answers: Cat Gingivitis

    Answer by Dr. Curtis Stiles of Angell Animal Medical Center's Dental Medicine Service: 

    Gingivitis is caused by plaque bacteria.  Plaque is that film that forms on your teeth.  This film also forms on your cat's teeth.  Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease and is reversible with appropriate treatment.  If periodontal disease has not progressed beyond just gingival inflammation (gingivitis) then a complete scaling and polishing and professional periodontal health assessment may the only treatment necessary.  Home care afterward (scaling and polishing) to allow the gingiva to heal and prevent gingivitis and irreversible changes associated with periodontal disease (gingival recession, bone/tooth loss) should include brushing.  This sounds worse than it actually is, but it is important to rule out any other disease beyond reversible gingivitis prior to starting a home care regime as your pet may be uncomfortable and starting brushing in an uncomfortable mouth will result in a pet who does not like to have their teeth brushed.  Cats commonly have a disease associated with their teeth called resorptive lesions.  This is a process that is not fully understood, but does occur in people and dogs.  However, cats seem to be predisposed to forming these lesions.  In simplest terms the teeth are being eaten away by the body.  The reason for these lesions to form is not known, but when these lesions appear at the gum line they are painful.  The resorptive process can become so involved as to invade the pulp of the tooth (where the nerve and blood supply are) these teeth are even more sensitive.  The lesions can get so bad that the crown of the tooth (part of the tooth we see in the mouth) can break off, then the patient can even be more painful.  This is why an evaluation by a veterinarian is recommended prior to starting any home care regime and often a full evaluation of the teeth, with dental radiographs under general anesthesia is warranted to ensure that there isn't more than just gingivitis present.


    For owners with financial concerns, there are many programs that provide assistance. At Angell Animal Medical Center we offer Care Credit which allows qualified applicants to spread payments out interest-free for a defined period of time. The MSPCA also provides low-cost spay/neuter services for low-income pet owners at www.mspca.org/snap. Spaying or neutering your pet can save costs down the road since they will no longer face certain cancers.

    If you are in need of a veterinarian you may call Angell Animal Medical Center at (617) 524-5653 to schedule an appointment, or visitwww.angell.org/generalmedicine for more information.

    AngellVets
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: MSPCA-Angell Vet Answers: Cat Gingivitis

    I'm curious: How is it possible for anyone to make a diagnosis of a periodontal disease in an animal without actually conducting a physical exam on the pet?  

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: MSPCA-Angell Vet Answers: Cat Gingivitis

    In Response to Re: MSPCA-Angell Vet Answers: Cat Gingivitis:
    [QUOTE]I'm curious: How is it possible for anyone to make a diagnosis of a periodontal disease in an animal without actually conducting a physical exam on the pet?  
    Posted by ALF72[/QUOTE]

    Of course, it isn't possible.  This was in response to nothing more than a fishing expedition to use AV to get justification for alienating remarks made in your original thread (that you aptly posted in the non-AV section of Pets), and an AV's answer got wasted on a generic question with a generic answer.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: MSPCA-Angell Vet Answers: Cat Gingivitis

    Yes, my poor kitty had resorptive lesions - she never seemed to be in pain, but after her dental and the removal of whatevermacallits that happened, blah blah she is eating better than ever before. So it seems that her "food pickiness" was actually pain and I didn't realize it.

    I reallly should try to brush her teeth, but now that she's 14 yrs old it's going to be harder to train her.  When we lose her we will get a kitten (or two, this will be negotiated with DH at that time, I'm of course "going for two") and not only will said kitten(s) be trained for nail trimming, they will be trained for teeth brushing.  Are we all gonna like the teeth brushing?  Nope, but we shall all get used to it (me included).  I trained my old lady from 8 weeks on to deal with nail trims and she never had an issue until the day she died at 181/2 years old, so I know it's possible.

    the more you know, the better you do.... 
     
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