4 Types of Cat that are More at Risk of Gum Disease

Gum disease isn't a condition that many people associate with cats, but cats can certainly develop it. Any problems with the gums can be serious,and many cats can lose all their teeth as a result. Here are four types of cats that are most likely to be affected.

1. Cats with Misaligned or Crowded Teeth

As with humans, cats who have misaligned or crowded teeth are more likely to experience dental problems. Plaque and tartar can build up more easily when there isn't enough room around each tooth, and can often enter the gum line more easily. This is a particular problem in breeds with very short noses, such as the Persian or the Exotic Shorthair. Their jawbones tend to be too small to properly accommodate teeth, often leading to overcrowding and misalignment.

2. Cats that Eat Only Wet Food

Wet food might seem like it would be good for your cat's teeth since they won't be having to crunch down on anything. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Hard treats and dry foods encourage chewing, and their abrasive surfaces help remove plaque from the surfaces of teeth. Wet food provides no abrasive action, and it's often more likely to stick in gaps between the teeth than dry food. This doesn't mean that you should never provide wet food, but there needs to be balance.

3. Cats with Infectious Diseases  

Several infectious diseases are associated with feline gum problems, but the most common ones to cause complications are the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). These cause immunosuppression - a reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system. This means that your cat can have trouble fighting infections and inflammation, increasing the likelihood of gum disease.

4. Cats That Don't See the Vet

There are very few cats in the world who enjoy going to the vet clinic, and getting your own cat to the surgery can often be tough. In spite of this, it's important for your cat to have their teeth examined at least once every 12 months, though cats who are predisposed to gum disease should often see a vet more frequently. If your cat isn't seeing the vet at least once a year, they're far more likely to develop gum disease since it develops quite gradually and is tough for owners to spot. Catching it early makes all the difference; advanced gum disease may necessitate tooth extraction.