Many pet owners don't realize that their cats are in dire need of dental care. This is because cats often go for weeks or even months with dental problems without showing any outward signs of being in pain. However, it's imperative that your cat's teeth are well taken care of, especially because their oral health problems won't necessarily stay in the mouth. Here's why it's about more than protecting your cat's teeth and gums.
Gum Disease and Its Cause
Gum disease is quite common in cats. This is because it tends to develop as plaque accumulates and the number of bacteria in the mouth increases. Since plaque can only be cleared away with daily toothbrushing or in-depth cleanings at the dentist's office, a cat can develop quite a bit of it if they aren't getting help at home with their teeth.
Unfortunately, the bacteria that's responsible for creating plaque and causing gum disease doesn't necessarily stay in the mouth. Bacteria can easily travel through the body via the bloodstream.
This is possible because when gum disease becomes severe, the gums can open up and start to bleed. Bacteria can take advantage of this opportunity by getting into the blood supply. If you can imagine the damage that they do the gums, then you can probably imagine how they can damage the soft tissues throughout the body.
Kidney disease is incurable, so the best thing you can do for your cat is to help them to avoid getting it. While some cases of kidney disease are due to genetic factors, many are now being linked to oral bacteria.
When oral bacteria makes it to the kidneys, it can damage the tissue there. In the short-term, this isn't too big of a risk, but if bacteria is continuously finding its way to the kidneys and causing damage, it can eventually destroy cells and cause scar tissue. Scar tissue is a big problem for kidneys because it can block the entrance and exits that blood flows through, increasing blood pressure. Higher blood pressure can cause a lot of health problems, including decreased kidney function - worsening the problem - and even blindness.
Imagine, if you will, that simply brushing your cat's teeth could help them to avoid a future of failing organs and blindness. Now the incentive for keeping their teeth clean is higher than ever, right? If you don't brush your cat's teeth yet, it's time to start. And if they haven't had a dental cleaning recently or ever, it's time to go to a veterinarian to have it done. Make an appointment and help to protect your cat's future.
Speak with your vet for more pet wellness tips.Share