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Tang Talk – January 2011

I am the smartest and most handsome creature in the world … you are lucky that I chose to share my thoughts with you.

Today, I am going to discuss teeth … the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth…

We felines can have dental disease. Some of us are born with it … some vets think there is a genetic predisposition to some problems (ie: you can blame your parents). Gingivitis has several causes including immune mediated, viral (FeLV, FIV, calicivirus), and juvenile. Some dental disease develops over time … bacteria > plaque > tartar > gingivitis > owie > infection > tooth loss

What can we do about it???

The best thing is to teach your human to brush your teeth. IF your human is incapable of brushing your teeth (it is so hard to find good slaves these days) you can consider eating a dental diet. I recommend one with the VOHC stamp (veterinary oral health council). There are only 2-3 diets with this stamp … it means the diet is proven to help plaque/tartar/gingivitis. Just because a diet has dental or oral on the label does not mean it will help … there is more marketing than science on most labels.

BRUSHING IS BETTER … please order your human to at least try brushing your teeth … there are many flavors of kitty toothpaste (beef, chicken, seafood, etc.) that you might like …

You need to let your human have the vet look at your teeth regularly. Your vet can assess the level of gingivitis and tartar and alert your owner to the presence of resorptive lesions (kinda like cavities at the gum line but its not due to sweets). RL’s can be painful. We do not know for certain what causes them. The treatment is usually to extract the tooth if it is causing discomfort. Better to have no tooth than a painful tooth!

Well, time to lick my bum. Goodbye.