Gingivitis in cats: causes, symptoms, remedies

Many cats suffer from gum inflammation at least once in their life. Gingivitis is often a very painful disease for cats. Our furry friends can hide this pain very well. Let’s discover together gingivitis in cats, how to understand the symptoms, what the causes but above all the remedies.

If the gums are red or even swollen, it is a good idea to talk about gingivitis in cats.  For two reasons, it is important to determine the cause of gingivitis. On the one hand, there are different therapeutic methods depending on the cause; on the other hand, gingivitis and possible secondary diseases can quickly become chronic and therefore difficult to treat.

The vet should make an accurate history of cat diseases as depending on the symptoms and history, knowledge of all of this can be helpful in ruling out any viral diseases. A radiographic examination with dental x-rays is important in cases of suspected FORL (feline odontoclastic resorption lesions) and in case there is tartar in the cat’s teeth, it will have to be removed by the veterinarian under general anaesthesia.

Causes of gingivitis in cats

There can be many causes of cat gingivitis, the most frequent are:

  • Bacteria : Bacteria settle in plaque and stone
  • Viruses : Some viral diseases such as leukosis, cat flu or FIV can cause gingivitis.
  • Injuries : In injured gums, pathogens can easily settle and cause inflammation.
  • Cat malnutrition : insufficient intake of all essential nutrients can lead to gingivitis.
  • Predisposition : bad tooth position or genetic predisposition can also be the reasons for gingivitis.

Symptoms of gingivitis in cats

Cats are true experts at hiding their pain. In nature, they are not allowed to show weakness and are therefore well versed in covering up their ailments. Only when the pain becomes too great to mask it, we humans realize that there is something wrong with our favorite animal.

Gingivitis becomes evident through typical signs of inflammation such as redness and swelling. Often a red gum line forms around the teeth but if you can’t look into your cat’s mouth, be aware that gingivitis can also manifest itself in the behaviour of your four-legged friend.

You can also often notice unpleasant halitosis. Animals suffering from pain in the mouth climbed very often and in this case the cats drool, as well as keeping their heads tilted when they eat, an evident state of suffering.

Since the pain becomes present and persistent, cats in order to free themselves from this discomfort that gingivitis causes them, they often scratch with their paw in their mouth. Very often even eating becomes torture, cats affected by the disease can start eating and then tend to run away while they eat.

While cuddling, you may also notice that your cat suffers from bad breath or makes sounds with his lower jaw when it yawns. We let the vet periodically visit him, to try to prevent.

Here is a list of symptoms that can depend on gingivitis, but can also be present in many other situations:

  • swollen gums
  • increased salivation
  • bad breath of the cat
  • anorexia
  • run away in the middle of eating
  • headache while eating
  • the cat makes a sound with its jaw as it yawns
  • scratches with his paw on his mouth

As mentioned above, our cats are masters at hiding disease and pain, so pay close attention to the animal and if you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, have it examined by your trusted vet.

How to treat gingivitis: the cure

There are currently several ways to treat cat gingivitis, but unfortunately with very poor results, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • Hormones
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Immunostimulations
  • Antiviral treatment
  • Pain therapy
  • CO 2 laser therapy
  • Photoactive substances

Chronic gingivitis seems to be a disease that depends on several factors which can cause the onset of this problem. Unfortunately, until the causes are fully discovered, it will not be possible to have a precise therapy but each animal must be subjected to individual therapy.

If after a period of about two months no improvement has been noticed yet, it is often recommended to extract all molars if not all teeth. Only then will the cat find serenity. The trusted veterinarian will surely know which is the best way to ensure that our cat benefits from the pre-established care.

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