Taking care of your cat's teeth is just as important as taking care of your own teeth. If you don't look after your kitty's oral health, you could soon find them suffering from a number of dental problems that inhibit eating, cause pain and do much more. Of course, even though taking care of cat teeth is important, cat teeth and human teeth aren't exactly the same. Understanding these key differences and similarities can make it much easier to take care of your cat's teeth efficiently. Here are two ways your own teeth are similar to your cat's and two ways they're different.
Cats Hide Dental Pain Well
If you've ever had a toothache, it probably wasn't long until your friends and family caught on. People tend to struggle to hide pain, and since tooth pain can be some of the worst, it's often the most difficult to hide. Cats, however, are much more resilient than humans are. Often, owners are completely unaware of their cat's dental problems because the cat does such a good job of hiding their pain. That means you need to look out for other symptoms, like redness around the gums, drooling and a rotten breath odour.
Cats Don't Get Cavities
When it comes to looking after human teeth, one of the main things you try to protect against is cavities (also known as dental caries). But while this issue is a big worry for people, it's no worry at all for cats because cats don't get cavities. That's because cavities usually occur on the horizontal surface of your molars, where the divots trap harmful bacteria when you grind your food. Cats are carnivorous, so they don't have such surfaces on their teeth. As a result, cats don't get cavities as humans do. Of course, that doesn't mean they don't have any dental problems at all.
Cats Do Get Many Common Dental Problems
While cats aren't very susceptible to cavities, they can get many of the dental issues that humans suffer from. Gum disease, oral inflammation and oral cancer are all problems cats can suffer from, just like you. They can also suffer from dental issues not seen in people, like tooth resorption (a painful condition where the teeth are destroyed completely).
Regular Cleaning and Dental Visits Prevent Problems
The best way to keep your own teeth healthy is to clean them regularly and visit a dentist often. The same goes for cat teeth. Brushing your cat's teeth every day will go a long way in preventing bacteria build-up, which is the root cause of common dental problems like gum disease. Likewise, just as you visit a regular dentist, you should take your cat to visit a veterinary dentistry clinic for regular check-ups or as soon as you notice a problem.