What is a Feline Tooth Infection?
A tooth infection, or dental abscess is an infection that is located around the root of the tooth. The usual cause of this is due to bacteria entering the cavity through broken, rotten or trauma in the tooth. Healthy teeth are protected in a layer of enamel, once this has been damaged by general wear or trauma, bacteria can then enter the cavity of the tooth. Tooth root infections can also happen as a result of periodontal disease; an infection found in the surrounding tissues of teeth.
Common Locations for Dental Abscess in Cats
Fractures can occur in any tooth however in cats the upper and lower canines and upper premolars are the teeth that we find are most prone to tooth root abscesses.
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Root Abscess in Cats
Tooth abscesses are painful, your cat may show signs of tooth root abscess by:
- Reluctant to chew food
- Sensitivity around the area
- Eating on one side of the mouth
- Food dropping on sensitive side of mouth
- Halitosis; bad breath
- Rubbing face on the floor
In upper teeth, your cat’s teeth abscess can be mistaken for an ocular health issue as the roots lay under the eye causing the tissue surrounding and the eye to become swollen and irritated. It is important to have any health-related issues checked by your vet to keep your cat in full health.
Cat Tooth Root Abscess Diagnosis
A consultation with a veterinary surgeon is required to diagnose dental related health issues. Your vet may be able to visually see fractures and discharge however some dental x-rays may be required to visualise the full extent. Dental x-rays required a light sedation or in some cases general anaesthesia to complete, however this will be discussed by your vet.
Dental Treatment in Cats
Your veterinary surgeon will treat your pet with pain relief to control the painful symptoms caused by severe infection. Antibiotics will be prescribed to control the infection. These are medical treatment options that will treat symptoms only, surgery may be required to fully prevent these symptoms from reoccurring.
The surgical advances will most likely be;
- Root canal treatment; with referral to a dental specialist.
- Surgical extraction of the tooth.
Cat Dental Care
Although in some cases, tooth root abscesses occur due to a trauma, in other cases your cat’s dental problems can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. Annual checks with your vet will determine that your cat’s oral health is in great condition. Some tips on how to maintain a healthy oral cavity include;
- Brushing your cat’s teeth
- Dental chews
- Water additives to reduce plaque build up
- Regular visits to the vet to assess issues before they worsen.
Whatever your cat’s needs we are always here to help and advise you on how to keep your cat’s healthy and happy. If you cat is showing signs of dental disease please seek advice from your veterinary surgeon. At Anrich Vets, we offer dental services including dental scale and polish and surgical extraction of teeth. Call 01942 242001 today!