Gingivitis in cats is one of the most common dental diseases; Its severity can vary significantly. The pain and discomfort caused by this disease affect the quality of life of the cat. In many cases it induces him to stop eating and causes a variety of health problems.
Signs of gingivitis in cats
Depending on the severity of gingivitis, cats may hesitate to eat, and they may turn their heads in an unusual way while eating. In addition to stop eating, they may drool or develop bad breath (halitosis). In some cases, cats with gingivitis will show a preference for soft foods.
Start and development of gingivitis in cats
This condition is characterized by inflammation of the gums around the teeth., so they blush, swell and hurt. Inflammation begins with plaque buildup – a film that harbors bacteria – in the teeth.
When plaque is not removed regularly, it migrates more deeply to where the gum meets the base of the tooth. Eventually, the plaque will migrate deeper from this point to the subgingival region.
Then The immune system can generate a response to these bacteria, which results in the inflammation we call gingivitis. Dental crowding and lack of oral health care can contribute to plaque buildup.
Understanding dental plaque
In the process of dental plaque formation the bacterial film that is initially soft hardens when absorbing minerals that come from both the saliva and the gum itself.
Hardened tartar provides a rough surface to which species of bacteria that cause disease can bind. It is not the calculus itself that promotes an inflammatory response, but the bacteria that bind to the calculus.
If the cat’s immune response to the bacteria that cause the disease is strong, the animal will develop gingivitis, but it is also possible that the feline’s immune system will tolerate the bacteria without any harmful effects.
Other causes of gingivitis in cats
Gingivitis can also be caused by a series of infectious or systemic diseases, which include feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline calicivirus, severe kidney disease, diabetes mellitus and autoimmune disease.
It should be noted that, when gingivitis is caused by one of these systemic diseases, It may be accompanied by inflammation or sores in other parts of the mucous lining of the mouth, a condition known as stomatitis.
Prevention is the most effective measure
The best way to prevent gingivitis in cats is regularly remove plaque buildup by brushing of the teeth.
It is important to note that you should use gel or toothpaste designed specifically for cats: Products for humans can be toxic to cats. Frequently, cats may need an induction to accept and allow tooth brushing.
If a cat has severe gingivitis, brushing teeth can be quite painful, so consult a veterinarian before considering brushing the teeth of a cat with gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a condition that is usually reversible. The recommended treatment will depend on how severe your cat is and the cause. underlying.
Commonly, cleaning of the cat’s teeth and administration of antibiotics is performed. The most severe cases may require removal of plaque under anesthesia, the use of immunosuppressive medications and, in extreme cases, the extraction of the most affected teeth.
There is little or no evidence that gingivitis treatment with antibiotics alone is effective. In cases of feline gingivitis that are due to underlying systemic or infectious diseases, the treatment of the primary condition is imperative to see improvement in gingivitis.
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