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Dental Disease

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Dental Disease in Cats

Good dental health is important for your well-being, and it's very important for your cat's health, too.

Plaque, a colorless film on your cat's teeth, is the perpetrator of bad breath and gum disease. Because she doesn't brush her teeth like you do, this plaque can cause tartar buildup. The result is swelling, redness and inflammation of the gums - otherwise known as gingivitis. If not checked, your cat can develop periodontal disease, which can destroy the gums and tissue that support her teeth.

The condition is serious, but don't worry: dental disease is preventable and treatable in most cats. Ask your veterinarian for a complete oral checkup for your cat and schedule regular dental cleanings.

You can also help clean her teeth daily - just by feeding her. Normal dry pet food provides a dental benefit for your cat because when she crunches on the kibbles, the moderate scraping action cleans her teeth. If your cat has the more serious symptoms of gingivitis, specially formulated foods are available which can do a much better job of cleaning her teeth than normal dry food. Ask your veterinarian for help in selecting the best cat food for her.

To learn more about dental health in pets, visit PetDental.com, a Web site sponsored by Hill's and the American Veterinary Dental Society.

For an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian.