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Cleaning your cats’ teeth is essential for your cats’ overall health. Like we take care of our teeth, we should make a habit of taking care of our pet’s teeth.
Our teeth are made with the same substances that make your cats’ teeth. When your cats’ teeth aren’t cleaned often, tartar grows around the teeth and may cause bad breath, tooth decay, or gum disease.
Brushing seems like the easiest and best way to clean your cat’s teeth. But cats can be very stubborn, and having a toothbrush in their mouth is the last thing they would like. How do you get to clean your cat’s teeth without having to brush them?
Read on to find the best alternatives to brushing your cat.
Best Alternative Way to Clean your Cats Teeth Instead of Brushing
These are some of the best alternate ways to clean a cat’s teeth and help them remove any unwanted plaque from your cat’s treat.
Feed Your Cat With Dental Diet
Prescribed dental food is right for your cats’ overall dental health. The diet has large kibbles that stimulate your cat to keep on chewing while rubbing against your cats’ gum and the tooth to remove the plague that usually forms through the gum line.
It’s advisable to check the ingredients of the product you intend to buy. Diet food that uses more natural part is better. These natural ingredients are herbs, which can encourage enzymes in the cat’s mouth to trigger more saliva, making tartar softer and little by little break way.
Diet food is excellent for your cat to ensure they are just part of your cat’s general oral care plan.
Tooth gel is a great alternative way of cleaning your cats’ teeth; they may require opening your cat’s mouth. You need to apply the gel to your cat’s teeth using a single finger without brushing it. It’s good to train your cat to be comfortable while touching around the mouth and teeth. The gels have active enzymes killing germs that make tartar build up around the teeth and rotting the gum and tooth decay.
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There is a more straightforward way to clean your cat’s teeth without touching its teeth. Spray your cat in the mouth and around its teeth. Alternatively, some addictive’s can be added to your cat’s water. It should be a short-term term method as you gauge a better long term method, but it will keep your cats’ teeth clean.
Dental toys are not like any other toy your cat uses. They are specially made to efficiently scrub your cat’s teeth and take off the plague. They assist rub and stimulate the production of saliva. It’s a fun way to clean your cat’s teeth and keep off dental decay.
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Comparable to the dental toy and chews, bones help remove plaque and tartar. When your cat is chewing bones, its gum and teeth are rubbing against the bone. You can give them a raw bone but ensure the bone has no fragments. Avoid fish bones, pork, or chicken as they mainly have splinters.
Signs that your Cat May Have Dental Disease
Bad breath in cats can be as a result of dirty mouth and also food like fish. Clean your cat’s teeth regularly. If your cat has a persistent bad breath even after continuous, thorough cleaning of the teeth, it’s advisable to take it to the vet for further screening.
Swollen gums that are mostly reddish are a sign that your cat is suffering from dental disease. The gums may bleed too, and it’s advisable to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible before it becomes severe.
Gum disease, tooth injuries, and mouth ulcers can cause your cat to walk around with saliva drooling from its mouth. If your cat exhibits this, take it to the vet immediately.
Your cat cannot chew food well and is struggling to eat. A tooth injury or decay could cause it.
Tooth stains are a result of visible plaque or tartar. These are the leading causes of your cat’s dental disease. Take the cat to the vet for cleaning before they become severe.
It’s not healthy to have loose teeth even for humans. Cat’s teeth are designed for sharp bites, and when they have a loose tooth, it’s a sign there are dental issues that need to be addressed immediately.
A cat that is losing weight is a sign that there is something wrong. It’s wise to take your cat to the vet for further examination. There is a possibility it’s not eating well.
Common Dental Cat Diseases
Just like humans, cats are commonly affected by the disease as they get older. Dental disease in cats usually occurs due to the accumulation of plaque and tartar. These cause tooth decay affecting the areas around the teeth that help in keeping teeth healthy.
What are plaque and tartar?
Plague is a complex, potent bacteria that builds up around the teeth’s surface. It is hard to detect plague at the beginning unless with a particular solution that can help stain it. The layers become more firm and visible with either grey or white build up around your cat’s teeth as it builds up.
It’s the most common cause of dental diseases in felines and needs to be prevented. Plague can be eliminated by cleaning your cat’s teeth daily.
Tartar is a result of the accumulation of plaque over a period that becomes a hard yellowish or brown color around the cat’s teeth. Tartar is hard due to the collection of substances like calcium. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed by just cleaning your cat’s teeth. It’s a severe dental problem that will require you to visit the vet. Removing tartar can be costly as it will need your cat to go through anesthesia for its removal.
Gingivitis is a dental disease found on the gums surrounding the tooth. It can be found in cats of all ages. Gingivitis is mainly categorized into three stages, namely gentle, temperate, and severe gingivitis.
Mild gingivitis is prevalent with cats of all ages. Take place after 48 hours of plaque accumulation. It doesn’t affect cats’ gum and root and can easily be managed at home.
Moderate gingivitis is when the plague has accumulated over time, and the gum slowly starts to separate from the tooth citing gingivitis pockets. These pockets are the right places where plaque can build up, food, and bacteria. It can be inverted with regular cleaning at home. However, gingivitis pockets are not reversible.
Severe gingivitis is very painful; signs are drooling, difficulty in eating, rubbing of the mouth, and bleeding gums. At this stage, the plague has built up over time, and tartar is visible. The gingivitis pockets are much more profound at this stage. It is not manageable at home, and your cats may need an anesthetic to remove the tar. Thorough cleaning is highly advisable after treatment.
Caused by mouth bacteria and tartar build-up, periodontitis is mainly found in older cats. The gums are usually much damaged with calculus built around it. It may look like severe gingivitis, except it is more critical as the tooth root is mainly visible, and the tooth is loose—the only way to treat it by extracting the tooth.
Stomatitis is an inflammation of the oral cavity. It’s a painful disease as inflammation spreads to all parts of the mouth from one gingiva due to a condition known as chronic gingivostomatitis. Although some cases have been associated with a cat’s immune system response that is too harsh to the bacteria in the mouth, there is no precise cause.
A cat suffering from stomatitis will have difficulty eating, losing weight, and drooling and plowing it. It can be treated with proper home care cleaning, antibacterial, and in some severe cases your cat may have extracted cheek teeth.
Feline Restorative Lesions
It is estimated that more than 70% of cats between age five and above have feline restorative lesion (FRL). It’s common to both young and older cats and cannot be detected easily. FRL is a corrosion of the tooth along the tooth line and also below the tooth. FRL can be identified by X-rays or through anesthesia.
Fractured teeth can be used at home before you decide if an extraction is to be done. Some tooth fractures can be deep affection pulp cavity and blood-nerve. Cat’s teeth have thin enamel covering their teeth, and many fractured teeth end up being extracted. You will notice your cats prefer one using one of the mouths while eating a broken tooth.
Factors that can lead to Cats Dental Disease
Various factors could lead to your cat’s dental disease.
Poor Tooth Alignment
If your cats’ teeth are not aligned the usual way, they are more likely to accumulate plaque and tartar than those that are well aligned. You are maybe cleaning your cat’s teeth, but some food segments remain in between the teeth.
Tooth abnormality alignment can depend on the breed of your cat. Breeds like Exotic short hairs, Persians, and Chinchillas usually have short jawbones that are not enough for proper alignment. The tooth fixes themselves on the short jaw bone, causing some abnormal alignment.
If your cat retains its milk teeth and the other teeth grow, there is no enough space for the extra teeth hence ending up being squeezed. Other cats suffer from different abnormalities that can result in teeth misalignment.
The food you feed your cat is vital for its overall health and growth. While food and dental diseases are a complex topic, there are some basics of cooking. When you keep on feeding your cat with wet food, many plagues may form around its teeth compared to when you feed your cat with dry food, which encourages chewing, which improves tartar removal. Alternatively, it’s wise to use the dental diet prescribed by your vet.
Some infectious diseases are associated with periodontal disease like gingivitis. Your vet may recommend medical checkups like feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline calicivirus (FCV) to ensure your cat is safe.
Cat’s dental health is very crucial for their growth and health. It is highly advisable to clean your cats’ teeth regularly. There are simple and effective ways to clean your cat’s teeth without brushing to choose the one that works for your cat.
Cats suffer from dental diseases when their teeth are not well taken care of and can lead to teeth extractions in severe cases. Keep close attention to any sign that can show your cat is unwell. Treating periodontal disease can be costly.