Dental diseases in cats

Dental diseases in cats is essential regardless of the age of the cat. Research indicates that about 75% of cats over the age of 2 experience various forms of dental disease, and in cats over the age of 5 it is assumed that almost all have dental problems. Detecting signs of dental problems can be challenging as most cats show no symptoms, but some indications can be bad breath, changes in behavior and eating patterns, such as crunching when eating, head twitching, excessive water intake, or changes in coat grooming.

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Plaque and tartar in cats

Just like humans, cats' teeth develop a coating of plaque that can mineralize and form over time tartar in cats. Tartar is full of bacteria and is often the cause of gingivitis.

It is possible to prevent plaque development at home by brushing the cat's teeth and giving mainly dry food. Specially formulated "dental food" can also help. Brushing your cat's teeth is an important part of daily grooming. Most cats can learn to accept brushing, provided it is done gently with a good reward. The use of cat toothpaste, which often has a good taste for cats, is recommended. Avoid regular human toothpaste as this contains fluoride which is toxic to cats.

Tartar that has already formed must be professionally removed with ultrasound. At A-Vet, we carry out a thorough oral cavity examination when you book an appointment for teeth cleaning. A complete examination requires anesthesia as it allows thorough examinations of the mouth and teeth without discomfort to the animal. We monitor our patients closely during anesthesia and monitor, among other things, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing.

What happens when you deliver your cat to us for a dental examination?

On arrival, one of our vets or pet sitters will review important information about your cat, such as disease history, regular medications and allergies. A general health check is then carried out where we assess, among other things, the mucous membranes, heart and pulse. If all is well, the cat will be taken onward for treatment.

During a dental check-up with anaesthesia, we examine the entire mouth, measure pockets in the gums, assess mucous membranes, tooth crowns and take X-rays of all teeth. Dental X-rays are essential for detecting damage or disease inside the teeth or under the gums and jawbone. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned using an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments before being polished to ensure an even and smooth surface.

All findings are documented in a dental record, and if further treatment is needed, this is discussed with the owner, including a plan and price estimate.

Common dental diseases in cats


Tartar in cats can irritate the gums and cause inflammation, characterized by redness, swelling and bleeding. Bad breath can also indicate gum inflammation in the cat, as such inflammation often involves a lot of bacteria. These bacteria can spread to internal organs and joints. It is therefore important that the patient receives the correct treatment and follow-up in case of gingivitis.


Periodontitis is an inflammatory reaction in the tissue around the tooth. The periodontium is the structures that hold the teeth in place, i.e. the gums, the ligament that attaches the tooth to the jawbone and the jawbone itself in which the tooth sits. Periodontitis attacks these structures that hold the tooth in place and when disease occurs, the tooth will eventually become loose. Risk factors for developing periodontitis are a lot of tartar, a narrow and narrow jaw (small dog breeds are particularly susceptible), bite defects, trauma, etc. The disease is divided into different stages, and each stage will require different treatment. It is not possible to stop the disease, but you can slow down its development with the help of regular dental cleanings and preventive brushing at home. In early stages of the disease, this is often sufficient, while in more advanced disease where much of the jawbone is gone, the tooth must be operated on/extracted.
Periodontitis can be uncomfortable and painful without the dog showing any signs that something is wrong. The teeth will also be extra susceptible to breaking, getting dental abscesses or forming fistulas in the nasal cavity.

Tooth resorption

Tooth resorption, formerly known as FORL (abbreviated TR), is a common dental disorder in cats where the teeth gradually break down. The cause of this condition is not fully known, but we do know that it causes pain to the cat. Approximately 30-60% of Norwegian cats are diagnosed with this disorder.

The changes start at the root of the tooth, far below the gums. Early diagnosis is usually made using dental X-rays. In later stages of the disease, changes can also be observed on the part of the tooth that is visible above the gums.

Treatment of tooth resorption often involves removing the affected teeth to relieve pain associated with the condition. In some cases, when the root is ossified, one may choose to remove the visible part of the tooth instead. A cat diagnosed with tooth resorption should receive regular follow-up with thorough brushing and frequent dental checks with X-rays to prevent or detect new cases.

Our Prices for general dental treatment can be found here.