Importance of dental care - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
Cool Cat
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Importance of dental care

How many of you have ever had dental care performed on your cat?

Last year when Barnaby was at the vet, I was told that he was beginning to get a buildup of plaque or tartar on his teeth and they may need to be cleaned which would involve sedation and it sounds expensive. The vet recommended a Science Diet food made for tartar control which I have been using since, but just today I noticed that there was plenty of yellowing on his back teeth.

Because my cat has a fairly boring diet, is he still prone to tooth decay and is this type of dental care really necessary or is it just another way for the vets to make extra $$?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 04:51 PM
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Kitty had eaten soft food for so long, that his teeth were yucky looking. When we took him to the vet, she wanted to clean his teeth. We let her do it, but of course he had to be asleep while she did it. I always worry about using anesthesia on cats, because I heard that it can cause damage to their kidneys. (I don't know if this is true or not.) She did do complete blood work on him before the teeth cleaning.

I have his papers here and it says that the gingivitis can lead to Periodontal Disease--which destroys the gums, teeth, and bone. It also puts bacteria throughout the body via the bloodstream and may cause damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart. It appears that I paid $170.00 for the cleaning, anesthesia, and blood work. I think Kitty's teeth looked much better afterwards, so I believe that it is worth it. After this happened, we switched him to dry food--that is much better for their teeth.

I have a brochure that has pictures of their teeth up close, the area is really red and irritated looking. It says that their mouth will be sore and they will have trouble eating. I did notice that Kitty was chewing his food strangely at that time--he kept tilting his head and trying to chew on one side. If it would hurt us to have problems with our teeth--I'm sure it would hurt them just as badly. I wish I could brush all 3 of my cats teeth to keep them healthy, but I don't see them letting that happen!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 10:36 PM
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I have had a fair bit of experience in the field in the last few months. Until recently, I had been doing no dental care; no brushing, special food or vet cleaning. Levi, who is about 6, has had gingivitis for a few years but I did nothing about it. The bacteria wound up eroding the enamel on three of his teeth causing cervical line lesions (irreversible). This necessitated the removal of three teeth because these are very painful. $600 later I had learned my lesson. So I started brushing my cats teeth every day. Two months later, my 2 year old cat, Cleo, got the same thing on one of her teeth. It must have started before I started brushing. Needless to say, now after another $500, I brush their teeth everyday, put Prov-Seal on their teeth once a week (protective wax) and take them in for regular checkups.
For the sake of your cat's health and your pocketbook, take him for the dental and start brushing everyday! Also consider the ProV-Seal and dental diet foods (I don't know how effective Science Dental is).
Sorry for the long post, but my inaction has cost me a lot of money!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 11:48 PM
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I had a rough discovery of the importance or dental care too. My 7-year-old cat was diagnosed with Feline Ondontic Reabsorptive Lesions(FORLs) this winter. Vets don't completely understand it, but the teeth develop painful holes in the enamel and eventually break off, often leaving the nerves exposed. Poor kitties! There is no cure, but the lesions can potentially be treated if caught early, and there is some evidence that good brushing and cleaning habits can keep new lesions from developing.

Also, I have read a couple of articles that suggest a possible link between FORLs and vaccinations. Just another reason to talk to your vet about which vaccines are truly necessary, and find some fish flavored toothpaste!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input. His annual checkup is in November and I'm sure the vet will suggest a dental cleaning so I'll go for it.

Don't want my little boy to be in any pain.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 01:25 PM
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I saw a commercial on TV that said to use baking soda and water solution with a soft cloth to brush your cat's teeth daily. Now, if your cat won't let you do this, by all means you should go to the vet. But if your cat does let you, then it is a lot cheaper than going to the vet and having your cat sedated.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 07:18 PM
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dental care

Dental care is as important to your cat's health as it is to you. Besides the problems mentioned above, your cat can also get infections that affect the heart and other organs from having bad teeth. They can also get a horrible mouth disease called stomitis (My cat's had it) that can last for months, and in some cases, doesn't go away until all of your kitty's teeth are pulled.

Science Diet is only one step above grocery store food. Vets sell it to make money. Period. If your cat's food isn't fit for human consumption, you don't want your cat eating it either.

Also, test after test have shown that dry food is no better for the cats' teeth than wet food. Most cat specialist suggest giving kitty both.

Just a soft piece of cloth wrapped around your little finger dipped in water and rubbed over the teeth twice a week is generally all kitty needs to keep their teeth and breath reasonably clean--if they will let you do it.

If you start out cleaning their teeth regularly as kittens, it is a lot easier and also makes it easier to give them medications later.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2003, 08:08 PM
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Dental care IS very important. Ask my grandmas dog who only has around 2 teeth left. She never ate dry food in her life and rarely ate dog biscuits.

I use only dry food for all my animals. And my vets always compliment on how well my pets teeth are!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2003, 12:30 AM
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I have got a toothbrush and toothpaste for Frosty at the vet. I have brushed his teeth twice just to get him used to it. I will do it on a regular basis as soon as his baby teeth will fall out. Till then I will be practicing with the toothbrush or my finger so he will be ready. When time comes I will brush them as the vet recommended every day. This way + dry food only I am hoping to avoid expensive dental care
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