Plaque is a main cause of oral or periodontal disease in cats. As plaque builds up on the teeth and around the gums, bacteria can irritate gum tissue and can lead to infection. If not treated, cat dental problems may lead to more serious diseases of the heart, liver and kidneys.
"Oral disease is one of the most common health problems among adult cats," says Dr. Simon Starkey, PetSmart veterinary expert. "Regular dental care and proper nutrition are important in the overall oral health of your pet."
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease in cats?
Symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath, red, swollen or bleeding gums, loss of appetite and loss of teeth.
How can dental cat food help?
Specially formulated dental cat foods and treats approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) for promoting oral health can help improve cat dental health including bad breath and gum disease.
"These foods and treats have a certain texture and shape that help scrape debris off your cat's teeth," says Dr. Starkey.
Other cat dental health tips:
Dental chews approved by the VOHC
Regular tooth brushing
Routine teeth cleanings by your vet
Is hard food better for cat dental health than canned food?
While hard food can stimulate saliva and promote chewing action that removes plaque, there is no data that canned causes more plaque build-up than dry.
Does regular dry food have the same dental benefits as cat dental health food?
Regular dry food does little to cleanse the teeth because it crumbles upon contact with your cat's teeth.
The information used in this report is approved by PetSmart nutritionists and vet experts.
Information from "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition," 5th Edition, Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush, Novotny, Copyright 2010 by Mark Morris Institute was used in this report.
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