If you're like most cat owners, you're probably already aware that cats have ways of letting their humans know when they want to be fed or petted. Like other mammals, cats are hardwired to hide pain and discomfort, so you may not notice things like toothaches or other types of dental distress in your feline friend until the condition becomes severe. One of the most common dental issues experienced by cats is called tooth resorption.
Tooth resorption is a relatively common condition that occurs in as much as 60% of all felines, and the chances of developing it increase as the animal ages. This condition happens when the hard layer of tissue between the enamel of the tooth and the interior pulp becomes eroded. The following are five signs of feline tooth resorption that all cat owners need to be aware of.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Several conditions exist that can cause weight loss in seemingly healthy cats, and tooth resorption is among the major players in this scenario. Cats with this condition begin to lose weight when it becomes too painful for them to eat.
Unexplained drooling is another potential sign that your feline friend is experiencing dental distress. Drooling is more likely to occur in the more advanced stages of tooth resorption — the oral tissues are producing excess saliva as a response to the pain the animal is feeling.
Bad breath is another potential sign of feline tooth resorption that could also have a variety of other causes. The good news is that this is often an initial sign of the onset condition, which means that your cat dentist may be able to prescribe a course of preventive treatment designed to keep it from progressing.
Bleeding From the Mouth
Tooth resorption also causes cats to bleed from the mouth. If this occurs, you should schedule an appointment with your cat dentist or veterinarian as soon as possible.
General Issues With Eating
Even if your cat is in pain, it will still have the natural urge to eat and will keep trying until and unless the pain caused by the condition becomes overwhelming. Watch for behavior such as dropping kibble, chewing on one side of the mouth only, and swallowing food whole without chewing at all.
Scheduling regular visits with your cat dentist is an excellent way to catch feline tooth resorption and other dental issues while they're still in the emergent stage. Early detection is key in slowing down and even stopping the progression of tooth resorption and other dental disorders in cats.
To learn more, contact a cat dentist in your area.