We often talk about dog dental health, but it is just as important to take care of your cat's dental health too and to consider a cat insurance plan as much as you would any dog wellness plan. Not only does a healthy set of pearly whites improve your cat's breath, but clean teeth can also prevent severe health conditions from developing. Keep reading to learn all about cat dental hygiene and how Wagmo’s pet wellness plans can help!
Why Is Cat Dental Hygiene Important?
Did you know that 85% of cats aged three years or older will be diagnosed with some form of dental disease? Though this seems to be a more spoken about topic in dogs and specific breeds,our little feline friends can be just as susceptible to dental issues as well.
Brushing our cat's teeth on a regular basis is one of the best ways to prevent periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a dental disease caused by plaque build-up and tartar formation. When bad enough, it will result in a lot of bacteria in our cat's mouths. This bacteria will begin to affect the cat's teeth and gums.
Once tartar begins to form on the teeth, it will be too hard to remove it with just your at-home toothbrush. You will need to bring your cat to the vet for them to begin removing it. Often they will put your cat under anesthesia and perform dental scaling.
Some common factors that can promote the development of dental disease in cats include:
- Tooth alignment
- Infections diseases
- Lack of dental care
Types of Dental Disease
A few different types of dental diseases can begin wreaking havoc in our cat's mouths. Some of these diseases and infections are more sinister than others, but all equally important to get checked out by a veterinarian.
You've probably heard of gingivitis before. It is inflammation of the gums surrounding a tooth. This is extremely common in cats and can be found at any age, in all different breeds and living conditions. With routine dental care, most cases of gingivitis can be reversed and prevented. If your cat develops severe gingivitis, you will probably notice as their breath will stink. If the cat's tooth has already begun to rot, there is not usually much that can be done, and the tooth should get extracted.
Stomatitis disease is when the bacteria from the cat's gums begin to spread to other areas within the cat's mouth. This causes inflammation throughout the entire mouth cavity, with the majority of it occurring in the back of the mouth. Cat dental experts are still not 100% sure what causes this, but they do see significant associations with stomatitis and persistent FCV and FIV infections. It seems that a cat's immune system begins to respond too aggressively to mouth bacteria.
This condition is excruciating, and your cat will often stop eating and begin to drool and paw at their mouth. No matter why your cat stops eating, this is always a tell-tale sign that something is wrong and that they need a trip to the vet. Cat insurance plans will cover medication prescribed to treat the infection.
Feline Resorptive Lesions (FRL)
Feline resorptive lesions are common in cats of all ages, and vets predict that 70% of cats will deal with at least one lesion in their first five years. FRL is when a tooth begins to decay, you will often notice the infection forming around the gum line or even below the gum line. If FRL is occurring in the neck of the tooth or below the gum line, it will be hard to spot, and your vet often has to get right in there for a comprehensive examination.
Often FLRs can be best noticed in an X-ray which is covered in a cat insurance plan. These teeth are often causing a lot of issues for the cat's oral health and will usually be removed to avoid further damage.
If your cat damages a tooth, it is important to bring them to the vet for examination. If the tooth's fracture reaches down to the pulp cavity, it poses a significant risk of developing an infection. Often badly damaged teeth will be removed to ensure no damage can be done to the cat's nerve and blood supply.
How Do I Keep My Cat’s Teeth Healthy?
There are a few options when it comes to keeping our cat's teeth in tip-top shape. Many cats will not appreciate you grabbing them and shoving things in their mouths, understandably. So if your cat is not having it, you should use different dental treats in between cleanings. If your cat will let you, brushing their teeth with pet-friendly toothpaste is the best way to prevent plaque build-up between trips to the kitty dentist.
But above all, you should be bringing your cat to the vet for regular mouth checkups to ensure nothing is going wrong. Often a dental disease is not noticed by pet parents until it has had plenty of time to cause damage. Pet wellness coverage includes routine checkups with your vet, allowing them to do a mouth checkup once or twice a year.
Wagmo's pet wellness plans offer pet parents the option to add dental coverage to their plans. This is a very common add-on amongst cat and dog parents as our pet's mouths can become easily infected. Wagmo dental care coverage includes:
- Full dental examination
- Professional cleaning
- Oral Exams
- And COHAT (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment Treatment)
With Wagmo pet wellness coverage and dental care, you can rest easy knowing that your cat's mouth is being kept clean and healthy! Plus, clean and fresh cat breath never hurts. If you're interested in building your customized pet wellness plan or cat insurance plan, take Wagmo's coverage quiz. You will be able to create the perfect plan for your pet and your wallet! All quotes are free of charge.