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Gingivitis Issues

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay Baylee had a vet appointment and while I was there, I asked about brushing Baylee's teeth - I've tried but it didn't work out so well, so I've just been feeding her tartar control treats.

She said that Baylee had a bit of gingivitis, that it wasn't severe but it was red around her gums. She said there was no tartar, however.

Forgive my ignorance, but could someone explain gingivitis to me... I saw the pictures of bad gingivitis, but I want to know how it forms, how it can be prevented and if there's anything I can do for Baylee now... the vet wants me to come back within 6 months to get her teeth cleaned, but she didn't seem to be in any rush. And wow, $98 for a teeth cleaning? Really?

Thanks for the info!
post #2 of 14
I'm pretty sure gingivitis is caused by bacteria under the gumline. Merlin had a horrid case when I adopted him back in June. In three weeks his gums started to openly bleed after eating. They had to use anethesia to knock him out and clean under the gums, and the bill was close to 350 US dollars. He had very little plaque or tarter, though.

I did some light research on gingivitis in cats. It seems that some cats are more prone to it that others. Hans is 14 and doesn't have one stitch of gingivits, yet Merlin is two and it's a constant battle to keep it at bay. Yes, six months later and his gums are back to being red and inflammed around some of his teeth. It can also be a sign of bigger problems, like diabetes, but if your vet ran bloodwork recently and saw nothing wrong, I wouldn't worry about that. Humans can get it very easily, from not brushing and flossing regularly. I've had light cases of it a few times when I went into the dentist, and got the whole lecture on how brushing and flossing at least twice a day is so important. With cats, they can't brush. And while dry food helps a little, it doesn't clean their teeth as much as catching, tearing apart, and chewing on a mouse or rabbit.

There is an oral rinse you can get from your vet that is used to treat gingivitis and plaque build-up. (It's kinda like a digestible Listerine for cats and dogs.) The cat will hate it, and you, for putting it in their mouths. I've been having to use it on Mer every other day, but it really reduces the swelling and his discomfort. (He's stopped licking his chops at night since I started the treatment.) I'm hoping to stretch the time between the next teeth cleaning to two years, but next time I have to take Mer in to the vet I'll ask what he thinks. If you can get her to accept brushing, you may well avoid a teeth cleaning in 6 months. It's hard to do, and I think vets put it off as long as possible so as not to stress the cat out more often than neccissary.
post #3 of 14
Maybe you could try the kitty teeth wipes? I saw those in the store and thought they might be easier to use than an actual brush. Has anyone here used those? Do they work as well as using the toothbrushes they sell for cats?

Here is what I am talking about -->Wipes
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hmm... I use the same brand ear wipes for her ears... I do get a bit nervous though, she doesn't like people holding her mouth open (but honestly, would you?) and puts up quite the fit.
post #5 of 14
I can understand about not wanting my mouth held open but apparently the earlier and more often you do it they do get used to it. I haven't been brave enough to attempt it myself yet.
post #6 of 14
Plus it prevents hundreds of dollars with of dental work as well as stress!!!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I'd definitely start brushing her teeth if I knew it was going to help... do you think it's better to start with the wipes and maybe work our way up to brushing her teeth?

And about the gingivitis... I got her in September and she had her checkup. In October she got spayed. So this was her first vet visit since then... her gingivitis just appeared between October and now? Because of my not brushing her teeth? And if there's no tartar, then how does gingivitis form?
post #8 of 14
Hey Ari

I started Skylar with the wipes and then just used the toothbrush. I started him at 3 months, when I first adopted him. It's much easier to start them on the tooth cleaning as kittens, but it's just so important for all cats and dogs I feel that if you are starting out, use the kitty toothwipes and see how that goes. Let us know..
post #9 of 14
It can actually happen very fast - I saw that with my mom's girl Piper and some cats are predisposed just like some humans.

If you are not sure - get a second opinion!!!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Hell603
If you are not sure - get a second opinion!!!
I'm just wondering if my first vet missed it or if it just happened that fast, you know?

I'm not really that big a fan of this vet but one of the vets at this place is a feline practitioner so next time...

Lauren - I will try the kitty wipes, thanks!
post #11 of 14
hows it all going with Baylee?
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by huggles
hows it all going with Baylee?
Hey, thanks for asking. I never found the kitty wipes for her teeth (I think they might've been sold out but I have it on my list to look for today) so that's been put on the back burner. I am still feeding her some tartar control treats, as I think they might've been working... until then I guess I have to look into a teeth cleaning in a few months.

As for her personality? A spitfire like she's always been, with a few moments of snuggletime every once in a while just to change things up!
post #13 of 14
Be very careful with dental issues ... religiously have the cleanings done and make absolutely certain there are no future outbreaks - and if there are, have the extractions done immediately. Gingivitis has been linked to causing a systemic infection in cats which brings on early chronic renal failure. It isn't something to neglect or fool around with. Your cat's life may depend upon how you act now.


Edit: Let me clarify something I wrote above - extractions should not be done unless the problem is out of control and the teeth have hip lesions or other obvious/painful breakage, infection or decay. It is the court of last resort and the way I wrote it above makes it sound like it is necessary much sooner than it may be. Sorry.
post #14 of 14
My cat will be turning 3 in a months time and has gingivitis. It's not as bad as some of the pictures I've seen online (been doing a little research). The vet has given me some Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution. My parents use this for their dog and 2 cats (age 14 and 10)....it has helped a lot with the two cats (unsure about the dogs). All you have to do is add 1 tablespoon (5ml) of the Oxyfresh to 1 quart (1L) of your pets drinking water. Aparently the pets have not had to go to the vets nearly as often to get their teeth scaled.

I plan on trying it with my cat...I was just wondering if anyone else has tried it before and if so what were your results?
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