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We all know from a very young age that it’s needed to visit a dentist once every half a year for a prophylactic examination and treatment. Meanwhile, not every master of furry pets guesses to bring his or her cat to the dentist.

Supporters of naturalness put forward the argument saying that in nature cats manage well without dentists and regular teeth cleaning. It is really so. However, you should not forget: the lifestyle of our home cats is far from the natural one.

Wild representatives of the cat family use their teeth actively to process solid food, as result teeth are cleaned naturally, and the risk of odontolith formation decreases up to the minimal.

Our pets represent another case. Soft pet food and other “comfortable” meal that does not need to be gnawed or to be torn by teeth, make the basis of their diet.

The dental calculus at home cats, living in apartments, is a common problem, unfortunately.

What Is The Dental Calculus, And Why Does It Appear?

The dental calculus or odontolith is a calcareous deposit, formed due to the microorganisms’ activity.

dental calculus cats
cat teeth with tartar and gum retraction: Image By medicanimal.com

The dental calculus is solid and dense; it looks like the yellow-brown crust on teeth that grows with time.

The odontolith appears little by little; it begins forming at a young age. In the beginning, teeth are covered by a film of bacteria and saliva, some part of which stay on teeth.

This film gradually transforms in a solid deposit mostly concentrated on the back dentition and on canines.

Its color could be light-yellow or dark brown. It is an unpleasant formation; it is neither more nor less than colonies of microorganisms; their activity brings to the creation of conditions for a chemical reaction.

After this reaction, where the calcium from the cat’s saliva takes part, the dental deposit is mineralized, and the dental calculus appears.

Besides the unpleasant appearance, it negatively reflects on the animal’s health, arousing the inflammatory process in gums and leading to periodontitis.

Among the basic reasons of dental calculus formation at cats, veterinaries give the following: diet, containing mainly soft food on-observance of the hygienic rules in the oral cavity wrong salt metabolism in the body disrupted dentition or their excessive roughness.

How Can You Find Out If Your Cat Has A Dental Calculus?

It is no so difficult to suspect your furry pet of dental calculus; it’s enough to watch it a little and to make an examination of the oral cavity.

There are following alarming symptoms:evil-smelling from the mouth yellowish-brown formations at the teeth roots bleeding and inflammation of gumsanxious behavior while eating, meaning that your cat feels pain when chewing.

In all these cases you should go to a veterinary for a detailed examination, diagnosis, and treatment of your favorite pet.

How To Treat The Dental Calculus?

It is impossible to get rid of the odontolith at home. Its deletion is rather complicated and painful, implemented only in clinics.

The animal receives total anesthesia. The approximate time of the procedure takes from thirty minutes to an hour.

The procedure is done in three stages: at first, big dental calculus is deleted with special tools, then it’s time for ultra-sound cleaning, influencing smaller deposits, at the end teeth are polished with some pastes.

As for the preparation for the procedure, one day of fasting before the surgery will be sufficient for a young, healthy animal.

Older cats (more than five years old) with some chronic diseases need more serious preparation, including proper examination by veterinary, clinical tests, and other analysis prescribed by the vet.

Of course, it is better not to bring to the necessity of the surgery treatment, taking into account that the procedure is not pleasant at all and total anesthesia is rather harmful to the animal’s body.

That’s why the most reasonable decision would be prophylaxis of the dental deposit formation and dental calculus.

What Could You Do To Prevent Dental Calculus?

It’s enough to clean regularly your furry pet’s dental deposit in order to decrease the risk of odontolith formation significantly.

Taking into account the common dislike of all cats to such procedures, it will be not easy to train it to this manipulation. However, you should try, of course, not going too far. It is recommended to begin teeth cleaning even to kittens, and then it will be easier in the adult age.

There is some special toothpaste for cats, having an agreeable taste, not harmful in case of swallowing. You can use it for cleaning a special brush or to clean teeth with a finger.

There is one more popular method of the preventive measures of the odontolith at cats – use special dry pet food. In the content of this pet food, there are dietary fibers, went through special processing.

Granules of the dry pet food are not crumbling into just after the biting, and their structure looks like a fiber net.

This net influences the teeth and cleans them. There are also pet foods with polyphosphates helping a film to be formed on the cat’s teeth, protecting them from deposits.

However, it would surprise me a mistake to consider dry pet foods as a universal panacea from the odontolith. Their use should be only a part of preventive measures, together with hygiene observing and regular visits to the veterinary for examinations.

You will have to pay a little attention and be a responsible master, and your whiskered pet will always have healthy and strong teeth!

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