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Teach cat to use toilet
Toothache & Tooth Decay
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Tooth Decay, Toothache in Cats and Dental Problems in Cats

Cat Dental Problems.
Note the redness around the gum line
This is a sign of FORL which causes toothache in cats




Do Cats get Tooth Decay?

Cats do get bad teeth but they are not usually the same as cavities in humans. The most common dental problem found in cats is a condition called Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL)

Sometimes the FORLs are obvious (see picture above) but sometimes they are only evident from x-ray images. Decay is usually below the gum line.

FORLs are classified from 1 to 5 depending on the severity.

It is believed that up to two thirds of all cats over the age of five will suffer from FORLs at some stage.



What are the symptoms of tooth decay in cats?

FORLs cause a great deal of pain. The pain may be so intense that even under general anaesthetic the cat may twitch when the tooth is probed.

The first symptom you may notice may be the cat's reluctance to eat. Any pressure on the tooth is extremely painful. The cat may be very hungry and will attempt to eat but drops the food when he gets it in his mouth.

A cat may reach a point where he no longer attempts to eat and he becomes thin and loses condition. He may also refuse to drink and become dehydrated.


* The cat may be reluctant to eat.

* The cat may drool excessively.

* You may notice bleeding from your cat's mouth.

* Bad Breath is another indication.

* The cat flinches or cries out in pain when you touch him in the mouth region.

* The Cat may paw at the mouth.

On examination of your cat's teeth you may notice a red line or redness and swelling at the point where the tooth meets the gum. The picture at the top of the page shows a case of bleeding at the gum line.

What is the Treatment for Toothache in cats?

Usually extraction of the diseased tooth or teeth instantly restores your cat to his former self. Once the tooth is removed he is free of pain and can continue a normal life. Even if a cat has all of his teeth extracted he soon adapts and can still eat most foods including dry food.

Cat Tooth Decay

Note the redness around the base of the cat's left canine tooth which suggests FORL

Cat tooth extraction

After the extraction

extracted cat tooth

The extracted tooth. Decay is predominantly below the gum line


Other Causes of Mouth Pain in Cats

Abscessed tooth.
Broken Teeth
Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth)
Bone or foreign body stuck between the teeth
Kidney Disease
Feline Leukemia Virus
Feline Stomatitis
Mouth tumors




Check your cat's teeth and gums regularly. The easiest way to do this is run a cotton bud or Q Tip around the gum line. If there is any sign of blood or pain get your vet to check it out.

This article is for information purposes only and is in no way intended to replace veterinary advice.


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Aggressive Kittens - Kitten that bite and scratch
Abscess in cats - Symptoms & Treatment
Allergic to Cats?
Bathing your cat without getting scratched
Bad Breath in Cats
Birth - Labour, Delivery and After
Cat age  in human years: A calculator
Cat Breed Descriptions: Personality, Colors etc
Cat Enclosures  Cat Runs and Cat Proof Fences
Cat Nip and how it affects your cat
Clean Cat Urine from Mattress
Clean up Cat Poop from Carpets
Children: Can kids catch worms & other diseases from cats?
Conjunctivitis in Cats
Cute Kitten Pictures
Cystitis in Cats causing inappropriate urination
Death: Living with the loss of your cat
Diarrhea in Cats & Kittens - Causes & Treatment
Ear Mites in Cats Symptoms & Treatment
Euthanasia of your Cat
Facts about Cats
Flea Allergy Dermatitis. A common allergy in cats
Fleas: Cat Fleas Dog Fleas Human Fleas
Fleas- Kill fleas on very young kittens

Fleas: Get Rid of Fleas - House and Pets
Free Homemade Recipe for Cleaning Pet Urine Smells
Flu - Symptoms and Treatment of Cat Flu
Hairballs in Cats
Heat: The signs of a cat in heat
Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds with pictures
Illness - Common Health Problems in Cats
Introducing new kittens to Other Cats
Kidney Disease: Chronic Renal Failure
Kitten Care - All aspects of caring for a kitten
Litter Box Problems
Litter Box Choosing the right Litter Box
Miliary Dermatitis
Milk - Should a kitten drink milk
Peeing in Potted Plants. How to prevent it.
Potty Training for Kittens
Pregnancy: Signs a cat is pregnant
Ringworm in Cats
Moving House with your cat
Nutritional Needs of a cat
Pictures of Cats - Different Breeds
Pills: How to give your cat a Pill
Quotes about Cats
Scratching Your Furniture - How to Stop
Spraying and Marking Problems in cats
Stress: Feline Stress
Toothache and Tooth Decay in Cats
Tapeworm in cats

Toys for Cats
Urinary Tract Problems  in Cats
Urine - Remove Cat Urine from Carpets
Vomiting in Cats
Worming your Cat or Kitten - When to worm



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