Does your sweet little feline friend have less-than-sweet breath? If your cat is afflicted with foul breath, there can be many reasons for it. Today we’re going to examine causes of bad breath in cats and what you can do about it.
Why Would My Cat Have Bad Breath?
There can be many reasons for foul breath in kitties. Some of them include:
- Gingivitis, or an inflammation of the gums
- Abscessed tooth or teeth
- Sinus infections
- Bone or hair stuck in mouth
- Mouth ulcers
- Foreign bodies in the mouth, including pieces of grass or grass seeds stuck in his teeth
- Tumors of the mouth
- Lung diseases
- Severe kidney disease
- Periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding your cat’s teeth
Specific kinds of bad breath in cats can indicate kidney, liver and skin disease. A sweet cat breath points towards diabetes, a urine-like breath to kidney disease and foul breath is a sign of liver disease or intestinal blockage. It’s extremely important to diagnose and treat any underlying diseases that may be causing your cat’s bad breath.
How Do I Know If My Cat Has A Dental Problem?
Along with bad breath, there are several symptoms of dental problems in kitties:
- Trouble eating due to the pain in his teeth or mouth
- Drooling or has a bloody discharge from his mouth
- Trouble swallowing
- Personality changes; he may be grouchy or lethargic
If your kitty has any of these symptoms, he should be seen by his vet.
What Is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis, a disease that affects gums and bone around the teeth, is the most common cause of bad breath in kitties. It causes extreme pain, along with eventual tooth loss.
This disease usually starts with tartar building up on your cat’s teeth. As it gets thicker and harder, it attracts more tartar. Eventually your cat’s gums become inflamed and start bleeding. This is called gingivitis, and it can be treated and reversed. However, if gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. Severe periodontitis requires tooth extraction, and can also lead to tissue and bone loss. Obviously, once it reaches this stage, it’s NOT reversible!
Periodontitis can be prevented by brushing your cat’s teeth and and having his teeth cleaned by his vet on a regular basis. Your vet can show you how to brush your cat’s teeth at home. A professional teeth-cleaning ensures removal of food particles, pieces of bone, or strands of hair that get stuck in nooks and crevices between teeth. This is important because these harmless-looking substances can decompose and cause infections to the surrounding tissues in your kitty’s mouth as time passes.
An oral health mouth spray can help in restoring mouth chemistry to a great extent. But a cat who always seems to have bad breath needs to be checked out by his vet. It’s important to find the underlying cause of his problem and follow-up with appropriate treatment.
Information in this article is courtesy of PetAlive.