Cat Gum Disease: What is The Cause?


Has your veterinarian recommended a dental for your cat?

Don’t worry, periodontal disease in cats is very common!

What is Gum Disease in Cats?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a progressive inflammation of some or all of the tooth’s supporting structures.

When food particles get trapped under the gum, bacteria accumulates, forming plaque. When combined with saliva and minerals, plaque becomes calculus, irritating gums and causing inflammation called gingivitis.

Gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease, is evident when a kitty’s gums turn red and inflamed.

An easy way to check is by looking in your cat’s mouth. Many cats will let you take a peek. Just lift the lip up on one side.

Look at your cat’s gums, are they healthy-looking pink? Next, look at where the edge of the gum meets the tooth. It should also be a healthy pink color, with no puffiness, inflammation, or darkened red areas.

Other signs include:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Mouth sensitivity
  • Bleeding gums
  • Yellow deposits on teeth
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty chewing
  • Pawing at the face
  • Irritability
  • Pus around the tooth

What Causes Gum Disease in Cats?

Gum disease in cats has many factors.

Eastern medicine teaches us to address the causes, not the symptoms.

Here are some potential precursors for feline periodontal disease.

Age and Health

Your cat’s age is a significant factor in his or her susceptibility to gum disease.

Periodontal disease is also common in cats diagnosed with FIV, feline leukemia, or calicivirus.


Breed and genetics play a large role in gum disease susceptibility.

Siamese and Oriental shorthair cats are the most prone to gum disease. Purebred cats are more predisposed to gum disease.

However, all cats are susceptible to periodontal disease.

Grooming Habits

Hair accumulation around your cat’s teeth increases tartar development.

Home Care

Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly reduces the development of plaque and tartar.


The best way to keep your kitty healthy is with a balanced diet and annual visits to the vet.

Learning about Eastern Food Therapy for Pets will help you make the best food choices for your cat.

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