Generally speaking, teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) is widely considered to be an unhealthy habit of humans but cats grind their teeth as well. Needless to say, cat grinding teeth while eating is not a pretty sight and the accompanying sound is downright painful. While teeth grinding is usually just a tic in humans, it's always a sign of serious problems in cats. That means if your fluffy friend starts grinding its teeth all of a sudden, something has gone wrong and bruxism is one of the symptoms.
Want to know the ideal approach to the issue of cat grinding teeth while eating? If that is so, this article is what you need. Down below, you are going to find everything you need to remember about teeth grinding in cats including what causes it, how to treat it and ways to prevent it.
A List Of Prime Suspects
Obviously, the average cats don't begin to grind their teeth out of the blue, there must be a reason. So here are a couple of potential culprits you must keep in mind at all times while analyzing the situation.
Overall, every cat parent around the globe knows what the felines like to put all sorts of things into their mouth from time to time. On occasions, the pets end up biting on something too hard that leads to fractured teeth, swollen gums and alike. When that happens, cats would suffer immense pain during mealtime which makes teeth grinding, excessive salivation and drooling show up. Though it's possible for pet owners to perform an oral check by themselves, cats tend to act aggressively while in pain so a trip to the vets is recommended.
Abnormal Alignment Of Teeth (Malocclusion)
Like humans, teeth of cats could develop oddly so if you ever notice your cat grinding teeth while eating, assess the alignment of its teeth. As the teeth go out of alignment, friction between the upper and lower teeth increases. Without correction, it's only a matter of time before the grinding makes its entrance. Most of the time, breeds with short or long, pointy faces have a high risk of developing misaligned teeth. Besides adult cats, vets have found malocclusion in kittens as young as 5 months of age.
For your information, tooth resorption is the gradual destruction of a tooth in cats that happen to nearly 75 percent of healthy adult cats over 5-year-old. The process usually starts right around the gum line which leads to the erosion of dentin, the substance that makes up the cat's teeth. Eventually, the affected tooth, as well as its root, shall break away from the mouth. When cats go through tooth resorption, they unwittingly grind their teeth, especially at mealtime. So far, the process is irreversible so extraction is the option preferred by most vests.
In certain cases, the issue of cat grinding teeth while eating may occur due to troubles outside of the mouth. Generally speaking, pancreatitis, cancer, inflammatory bowel, ulcer and so on would likely cause a lot of pain to the felines. To get through the pain, the average cats often clench their teeth so it's possible for them to start grinding their teeth ingesting foods. Until you properly resolve the source of the pain, the grinding is going to linger. Once again, it's widely advised that you take your pet to the nearby veterinary clinic for in-depth examinations.
Foods In The Meals
So the grinding starts immediately after changes in the diet? If that happens to be the case then it's highly likely that the foods may be at fault here. When cats have to struggle to ingest specific foods, their teeth could hit each other repeatedly which lead to the grinding. If the appearance of the teeth grinding coincide with the introduction of new foods, go back to the old diet to see how things turn out. In the case the grinding disappears, you need to abandon the plan of switching the food for the time being.
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Getting Rid Of The Grinding
Considering the fact that teeth grinding in cats is a worrisome sign, it's essential that you get your cat to the vets at once.
Because the grinding is often the result of pain, veterinarians have to devise a treatment regime that meets 2 goals: 1/ relive the pain and 2/ take care of the underlying medical issues. To do that, it's necessary for the vets to conduct a series of diagnoses in order to get to the bottom of the problem. Once they have a firm grasp of the situation, veterinarians shall perform some procedures on the pet and offer medications. Depending on the circumstances, the length of the treatment well as the recovery phase may take a pretty long time.
Note: Whatever you do, refrain from giving your furball medicines without consulting the vets first. Not only has such an action complicates the diagnoses but it also leads to unpredictable results if you don't clearly understand the current issue.
Keep Bruxism From Showing Up
- Consider Practicing Dental Home Care: Due to the layout of their teeth, cats rarely run into issues with tooth cavities. That being said, you should brush the teeth of your friend every day to keep its mouth in sanitary conditions. Nowadays, it's a breeze for cat parents to get cat-specific toothpaste and toothbrush from most pet stores. You can also provide the pet with chewing toys that aid with dental health.
- Put Together A Balanced Diet: Research carefully in order to determine which type of food is good for your cat. In the case you cook foods for the pet on your own, remember to add bone powders to take care of potential plaque build-ups.
- Schedule Periodic Oral Examinations: At least once a year, bring your cat to the vets for thorough examinations including the oral checks. That would allow you to detect oral problems in the pet early and treat them before they worsen. In addition, it's a good opportunity to perform compressive cleansing of the feline's teeth.