Oral and dental diseases are common in cats more than three years of age. Gingivitis in cats is one of the most common problems in older cats. Gingivitis is simply a swelling and redness of the gum and associated tissues of the cat’s mouth. Gingivitis is not as simple as human gum bleeding. The conditions may become more severe and sometimes life-threatening.
What is Gingivitis in Cats?
Feline gingivitis is simply an inflammation of the gum and associated tissues of the mouth. The condition is manifested by redness, swelling, gum bleeding, and plaque formation in teeth. Bacteria and other debris will form the plaque. The plaques lead to the swelling of periodontal ligaments and gums. The involvement of periodontal ligaments is called periodontitis, and the involvement of the gums is called gingivitis.
Causes of Gingivitis in Cats
The leading cause of gingivitis is the gradual formation of plaque in cats’ teeth. The reaction towards plaque formation is variable from cats to cats. The most common causes of gingivitis are:
- Infectious diseases in cats like Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Leukemia.
- Tooth resorption or cavity-like structure in the mouth may lead to gingivitis.
- Traumatic injury in teeth may lead to gingivitis.
- Juvenile cats during the eruption of teeth may cause gingivitis.
- Lack of alignment of teeth may cause gingivitis.
- The inflammatory disease Eosinophilic granuloma may lead to inflammation of lips, gums, and tongue.
- Overgrowth in the gum and associated tissues may lead to gingivitis.
- Lack of dental care.
Clinical Signs of Feline Gingivitis
The main clinical manifestations of gingivitis are redness and swelling of the gum and associated tissues of the oral cavity. The disease may turn into severe conditions, and the clinical signs are:
- Drolling of saliva from the mouth.
- Pain in the mouth.
- Reluctance in drinking or eating.
- Loss of conditions.
- Eat from one side of the mouth.
- Progressive loss of weight.
- A foul smell comes from the mouth.
Diagnosis of Gingivitis in Cats
The disease can be diagnosed by following methods:
- History of dental diseases.
- Specific clinical signs.
- Examination of blood for eosinophilia.
- Clinical examination of the gum of the cat.
- ELISA and CFT for diagnosis of viral diseases.
Treatment of Feline Gingivitis
The primary treatment of gingivitis is the treatment of underlying causes. The teeth should be cleaned regularly at an interval of 3 months. The cat should be vaccinated against potential viral diseases. The treatment protocols for feline gingivitis are as follows:
- Broad-spectrum antibiotics injection.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Extrusion of deformed or broken teeth.
- Rasping of malunion teeth.
- Stem cell therapy.
- In severe cases, surgical removal of affected gingiva (gingivectomy).
Prevention of Gingivitis in Cats
The following measures can prevent gingivitis:
- Regular cleaning of teeth of a cat.
- Have a habit of brushing of teeth.
- Use dental wash by chlorohexidine to prevent plaque.
- Give dry food to your cat.
- Give balanced food to your cats.
Final Advice on Gingivitis in Cats
Gingivitis is a common oral and dental problem in domestic cats. The disease is mainly caused by dental problems and a few viral diseases. The disease, in severe cases, can be life-threatening and may cause the death of cats. The disease can be prevented by regular dental care, brushing, and a good feed. I think this article will help you a lot.