Gingivitis and stomatitis: when the vet wants to remove all the cat's teeth (2023)

Gingivitis and stomatitis: when the vet wants to remove all the cat's teeth (1)

Several times a year someone brings me a cute fluffy cat with a not-so-sweet-smelling muzzle.

Basically, cat's breath cleans my waiting room.

Often the client would make an appointment because of the bad smell. Hercat may also have difficulty eating, have a sore mouth, and/or lose weight.


These symptoms indicate that your cat may have feline stomatitis, a painful condition in the mouth.

Most people think that their cat needs a "visit to the dentist"; they feel guilty for letting things get out of hand.

However, due to neglect, this state of affairs did not occur. Stomatitis is much more serious.

There are several ways to treat this condition, but often the focus is more on control than treatment, trying to keep the cat comfortable and relieve pain as much as possible.

Gingivitis and stomatitis

Most cats develop as they get older.something of gingivitis.

Home care such as tooth brushing, diet and dental care, and routine cleaning should help with the problem.

Cats with gingivitis don't usually feel much pain. However, kittens with stomatitis suffer greatly from this.


Gingivitis is limited to the small tissue (gums) that surrounds the tooth, while stomatitis can affect the entire mouth.

In the worst case, inflammation, bleeding, infection and pain can spread to the cat's roof of mouth and throat. The tissues surrounding the back molars can be very swollen, smelly and very painful.

The cat may stop eating, and sometimes you may notice bloody fur on its forearms where it has rested its chin, and saliva.

Why does my cat have stomatitis?

Stomatitis in cats is believed to be immunologically mediated.

This means that these kitties have a strange inflammatory reaction in their own teeth, more specifically, in the plaque.

Because plaque lives on the tooth, and it's really impossible to get plaque out of a cat's mouth, the teeth usually have to be removed to fix the problem.

After the teeth are extracted, the oral cavity usually heals wonderfully, and the cat feels great relief.

feline viruses, including herpes, calicivirus,Yo FIVplay a role in stomatitis. But there are many cats with stomatitis that are otherwise healthy, do not have these viruses, or suffer other consequences of these viruses.

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The good news is that if we can get stomatitis under control, your cat should be back to a happy and pain-free life.

To diagnose

The diagnosis of gingivitis/stomatitis is based on a visual examination of the oral cavity.

Some conditions mimic gingivitis/stomatitis and sometimes a biopsy is done to rule out more serious causes (such as cancer). The blood test can help detect underlying conditions (for example, kidney disease).

Dental x-rays are also useful for detecting damaged teeth or delayed tooth roots (as these can serve as a focus for autoimmune activity).

Gingivitis and stomatitis: when the vet wants to remove all the cat's teeth (3)

How is stomatitis in cats treated?

When you or your vet first notice symptoms of stomatitis, home treatment may do the trick.

But again, don't feel guilty if you don't handle or fix a problem at home.

Imagine facts about cats. Cats with perfectly healthy mouths are often a challenge when it comes to oral hygiene at home.


If it is a cat with a healthy and painless mouthyou and your toothbrushIf you want to go hiking, let the sore cat with stomatitis have his say. Take you and your toothpaste away or your mouth will bite the hand that feeds it.

Before extensive oral surgery, your vet may recommend a professional cleaning, antibiotics, steroids, or other immunosuppressants.

But these measures only control stomatitis and do not cure it. And this control can only be of short duration.

The drugs also have side effects, making lifelong treatment impractical and risky. Also, treating these poor kitties with pills or lotions can be just as difficult as brushing their teeth.

"Take this pill and slide it" is a line from the same Kitty ballad as "Put that toothbrush where the sun don't shine."

finsore mouthA full mouth extraction, as extreme as it sounds, is a much better solution than taking steroids or expensive immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of your cat's life.

Whole Body Extraction

The easiest way to deal with this nasty feline problem is to think of your cat's teeth as your cat's enemies: the gums attack the plaque and the tooth.

"This is my territory," says mouth to tooth. "This mouth will not bring victory until the enemy teeth are removed."

The degree of extraction may vary. Some cats may simply requireSometeeth, usually beginning with the back molars.

Or, your vet may choose to perform extractions in stages. Each case is different.

Your vet can refer you to a vet.

Cats can have difficulty pulling teeth. They can be easily broken, and if those little toothy roots are left behind, they can still act as alien enemies. It is also ideal to take an x-ray of the teeth to check that the teeth have been completely extracted.

Proper cat tooth extraction with minimal trauma is, in my opinion, a better art form than fang extraction.

Objection: "But you won't be able to eat!"

Oh yes, it will. And without pain.

Objection: "But he can't enjoy dry cat food or treats!"

Oh yes, maybe. Once the mouth has healed, most kitties will chew these tasty treats to the bottom of their hearts!

However, for many health reasons, I still recommend canned cat food as the bulk of the diet.

This adorable kitty is surprisingly calm while brushing his teeth well:

If your cat has been diagnosed with stomatitis

  1. This ispainfulcondition for your cat. I need your help
  2. Seek your vet's opinion if the idea of ​​a complete oral extraction strikes you.
  3. This can be an expensive process, but it can give your cat a new life for the remaining 9 lives.
  4. A small number of cats may require treatment even after their teeth have been extracted. These kittens usually needany lessMedication than before the extractions and I continue to live without severe pain in the mouth.


Cat health helps to strengthen the immune system and fight viral infections. Vaccination against feline influenza (herpes and calicivirus) and feline leukemia virus may reduce risk.

Additionally, adherence to strict oral hygiene can reduce the severity and frequency of exacerbations.

ivan python

python ivan wasAs, named for his love of small rodents. (Ivan also brought home snakes, but from the garden, not an exotic variety).

Ivan's family, who suffered from stomatitis, believed that if we knocked out all his teeth, his life as a hunter would be over. But a month after Ivan's oral surgery, he was still Ivan the Terrible to the local rodent population. His mother was looking for Ivans.favorite business cardAgain, all over the house: mouse heads.

Disclaimer: I love rodents too, but there is such a thing as a circle of life, and there will always be Ivan in the food chain.


  • "Gingivitis and stomatitis in cats". Williams and Aller.Vet Clin North Am Small Animal Clinic,22: 1362–1383.
  • "Chronic stomatitis in cats". Gaskel and Knowles.Veterinary Yearbook. 28th edition. 246-250.

Gingivitis and stomatitis: when the vet wants to remove all the cat's teeth (4)

This animal health content was written by a veterinarian.Dra. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, with the participation ofDra. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS. This article was written by Dr. Elliott Checked for Accuracy and last updated on December 9, 2018.

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