What to Know About Cat Dental Exams at Home & With Your Vet

January 27, 2024 4:46 pm Published by


Dental health is vital for our feline friends, as it plays a crucial role in their overall well-being. Just like humans, cats can suffer from dental issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections. Regular dental exams are essential to detect and prevent these problems. In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know about cat dental exams, both at home and with your vet.

The Importance of Cat Dental Exams:

Cat dental exams are essential because they allow early detection of dental problems and prevent them from progressing into more serious conditions. Untreated dental issues can lead to pain, discomfort, difficulty eating, and even systemic health problems. By conducting regular dental exams, you can help ensure your cat’s oral health and maintain their overall well-being.

At-Home Dental Exams:

Performing dental exams at home is a great way to monitor your cat’s oral health between veterinary visits. Start by gently lifting your cat’s lips and examining their teeth and gums. Look for signs of redness, inflammation, swelling, or bleeding gums. Take note of any broken or missing teeth and tartar buildup on the teeth’s surface. Additionally, pay attention to any changes in your cat’s eating habits or unpleasant breath, as these can be indications of dental problems. Regularly inspecting your cat’s mouth at home allows you to catch any issues early and schedule a vet visit if necessary.

Professional Dental Exams with a Veterinarian:

While at-home dental exams are important, they should never replace professional dental exams with a veterinarian. A veterinarian has the necessary training, experience, and equipment to conduct a thorough dental examination and perform essential treatments or procedures. During a professional dental exam, the vet will check your cat’s entire oral cavity, including hard-to-reach areas like the back teeth and gums. They will also evaluate the overall condition of the teeth, identify any dental diseases, and recommend further treatment if required.

The Dental Exam Process:

When you bring your cat to the vet for a dental exam, several steps will be involved to ensure a comprehensive assessment of their oral health. First, the veterinarian will conduct a visual examination, looking for any obvious signs of dental problems. Then, they may perform a manual examination, gently probing the teeth and gums to check for abnormalities or pain. In some cases, the vet may recommend dental X-rays to evaluate the roots and underlying structures of the teeth. These X-rays can reveal hidden issues that may not be visible during a visual exam. The vet will discuss their findings with you and develop a treatment plan if necessary.

Common Dental Problems in Cats:

Several dental issues can affect cats, and it’s important to be aware of them. One common problem is periodontal disease, a bacterial infection that affects the gums and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Cats are also prone to dental plaque and tartar buildup, which can contribute to gum disease. Other issues include fractured or broken teeth, oral tumors, feline stomatitis, and oral infections. Regular dental exams help identify these problems early, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

Preventing Dental Problems:

Prevention plays a critical role in maintaining your cat’s dental health. Alongside regular dental exams, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk of dental issues. These include providing your cat with a balanced and nutritious diet, avoiding feeding them sugary or sticky treats, and offering dental-specific chews or toys. Additionally, daily tooth brushing can significantly reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Consult with your veterinarian to learn proper tooth brushing techniques and consider using pet-friendly toothpaste.


Cat dental exams, both at home and with your vet, are crucial for maintaining your feline friend’s oral health. Regular monitoring at home allows for early detection of potential problems, while professional dental exams ensure a comprehensive assessment and necessary treatment. By prioritizing your cat’s dental health, you can prevent dental issues, protect their overall well-being, and ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry companion.

Need a Cat Veterinarian in Alexandria, VA?

Welcome to Kingstowne Cat Clinic! Kingstowne Cat Clinic is a locally owned, community focused cat clinic. We specialize in giving your feline friend the care they need. We offer wellness exams, surgery, dentistry, vaccinations, and acupuncture. We also provide sedated grooming and at home euthanasia. Kingstowne Cat Clinic is dedicated to providing quality medical and surgical care for all cats. Contact us today for an appointment!

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