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Why is My Cat Smacking Gums, Drooling, and has a Sore Under a Tooth?

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Dear VetBabble,

I have a question that I believe many other pet owners might share. My cat Zucci keeps smacking his gums or lips and has excessive drooling. I have also noticed a small sore under one of his teeth. Any idea what this could be? Might it be dental disease? I’d like to know more about dental issues in pets. Thanks!

Answer:

Hello and thanks for such a thoughtful question! Dental health is incredibly important for our pets, and it’s crucial to keep an eye on their mouth and gum health. From the symptoms you’ve described, it does sound like Zucci could be experiencing dental issues. This answer will address the importance of maintaining good dental health, signs and symptoms of dental disease, and some steps pet owners can take to promote oral health and well-being in their furry friends.

Maintaining Good Dental Health in Our Pets

Just like humans, our pets can develop dental problems if their teeth and gums aren’t properly cared for. Regular dental care is essential in ensuring our pets’ overall health. For cats especially, poor dental hygiene can be linked to a host of health issues such as infections, abscesses, and kidney and heart disease. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the most effective way to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Check out our article on Brushing your Cat’s Teeth: Dental Care for your Pet for a step-by-step guide on how to brush your cat’s teeth. For our canine companions, preventative dental care is just as important to avoid gum diseases, bad breath, and loss of teeth. To learn about effective dental care methods for dogs, please visit our article Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth: Preventative Dental Care.

Signs and Symptoms of Dental Disease

Zucci’s symptoms suggest an issue with his dental health. Some common signs of dental issues in pets include:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Swelling or discharge around the mouth
  • Reluctance to eat or difficulty eating
  • Loss of teeth or visibly damaged teeth
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Lumps or sores in the mouth

As Zucci has exhibited some of these symptoms, he might be suffering from dental disease. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian about proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Along with dental issues, pets can potentially develop skin problems around the mouth and face. To learn more about common skin issues in cats, please visit our article Skin Problems in Cats: Common Causes and Treatment.

Steps to Promote Oral Health and Well-Being

To maintain good oral health in your pets and prevent dental diseases, follow these steps:

  1. Establish a regular brushing routine. Cats and dogs benefit from having their teeth brushed daily to remove plaque buildup. Remember to use pet-specific toothbrushes and toothpaste.
  2. Take your pet for regular dental checkups and professional cleanings with your vet, as they can identify and treat potential issues early on. Refer to our article on Cat Teeth Cleaning & Dental Care for more insights.
  3. Choose food and treats designed to improve dental health. Special dental treats and diets can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
  4. Keep an eye on your pet’s mouth, and address any concerning changes with your vet. Early detection of dental problems can prevent more severe issues down the road.

In summary, dental health is essential in ensuring our pets’ overall well-being. By following the steps above and working closely with your veterinarian, you can protect your pet against oral health issues and provide the care they need for a long, healthy life.

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