Dental Care for Cats

Uniquely Cats Dental




Keeping your cat’s mouth healthy is a great investment.



An often over looked health issue for our feline friends is dental care. Cats accumulate dental plaque and tartar, have toothaches and develop gingivitis just like people do. Uniquely Cats Veterinary Center offers a fully-equipped, state of the art feline dental suite in their cat only veterinary hospital. The suite includes advanced patient monitoring systems, digital radiology, anesthetic capabilities and human-grade instrumentation all in a peaceful dog-free environment. The staff at Uniquely Cats is dedicated to excellent, thorough, safe and pain-free dental care for cats.
Keeping your cat’s mouth healthy is a great investment. Uniquely Cats Veterinary Center in Boulder, CO offers a state of the art dental suite just for cats.
Keeping your cat’s mouth healthy is a great investment. Uniquely Cats Veterinary Center in Boulder, CO offers a state of the art dental suite just for cats.
Cats are masters at hiding pain. It’s a survival instinct. So, just because your cat is “acting normal” doesn’t mean they aren’t in pain. Let one of our exclusively feline veterinarians assess your kitty’s mouth.
Cats are masters at hiding pain. It’s a survival instinct. So, just because your cat is “acting normal” doesn’t mean they aren’t in pain. Let one of our exclusively feline veterinarians assess your kitty’s mouth.

“Cats are wonderful at hiding pain,” says Dr. Jessica Fine, who has been practicing feline-specific veterinary medicine for over 10 years. “Cats will continue to eat and act normally with a toothache that would have a human screaming for a dentist. At Uniquely Cats Veterinary Center, we educate our clients on the importance of regular dental exams and cleaning for their cats. Our unique dental suite provides us with the best tools for seeing and diagnosing feline dental issues. The equipment we use looks very much like what you would see at your own dentist.” Dr. Fine is a graduate of the Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine in Ft. Collins, CO.

According to Dr. Fine, “Because cats are so good at hiding pain, owners don’t know that their cat is in pain until after a dental procedure is performed and the source of the pain is removed. Clients often come back telling us how their cat is now playing and jumping and enjoying life again. It is very satisfying to see a cat ‘come back to life.’ Uniquely Cats believes that investing in the health of your cat’s teeth now will improve their overall quality of life. A pain-free cat is a happier cat!” Read more…


Don’t horse around: dental health




Unfortunately dental caries weaken the horse’s tooth leaving it susceptible to fracture and infection.



The horse’s tooth, like the tooth of any other species, is subject to decay. It is only recently that the nature of the tooth decay and its implications to the health of the horse have been recognized and identified.

The reasons for this are twofold. The abilities of the equine dental provider to recognize and identify the tooth decay has advanced and in addition there is likely an increasing incidence of dental caries in horses related to the modern equine’s diet and lifestyle.

The cause of dental caries in horses is likely multifactorial. Processed feedstuffs and reduced long-stem forage intake contribute to changes in the pH of the horse’s mouth, and interrupts the full expression of the elliptical chewing pattern of the horse.

Proper healthy development of the young horse’s tooth is highly dependent upon a high-fibre diet. The high-fibre diet initiates chewing forces which shape the adult tooth to be resilient and strong. It triggers key physiological occurrences in the dental arcade such as proper shedding of the baby teeth and/or caps, eruption of the molars and development of the continuously erupting teeth in the dental arcade.

Tooth decay – known as dental caries to veterinarians – is a condition where dental surfaces in the horse’s mouth have been eroded away.

Caries is a disease process which leads to tooth decay. Tooth decay is the breakdown of the structure of the tooth and when the decay becomes visible it is termed a cavity. As the decay progresses, the structural integrity of the tooth is compromised, leaving it vulnerable to fracture, exposure of sensitive nerve endings and pulp cavities and root infection.

There are typically two types of tooth decay or caries seen in horses – infundibular caries and peripheral caries.

The infundibulum is an anatomical structure that is unique to the equine tooth. It is an invagination of the enamel folds on the grinding surface of the horse’s tooth and is thought to substantially increase the surface area for grinding and enhance the durability of the tooth.

Equine infundibular caries is a unique nuance of the horse. Decay in the infundibulum of the upper cheek teeth happens if defects occur within the invaginated infundibula and allow food material and bacteria to accumulate in the centre of the tooth.

Fermentation and acid production leads to decalcification and weakening of the surrounding dental tissue. Once the process of decay has begun, it continues to progressively worsen and may escalate to the point where the tooth is weakened and fractures.

The fractured tooth is then susceptible to bacterial entry of the root, infection and abscessation. Only the upper cheek teeth can contract infundibular caries as they are the only cheek teeth with the particular infundibular structure. The infundibulum of the upper cheek teeth, actually two per tooth, is subject to food and bacteria getting stuck in these invaginated areas thus placing them at a higher risk for decay. The lower cheek teeth do not have an infundibulum. The incisor teeth do have a singular infundibulum, however, caries are extremely rare in the incisors.

The second type of caries which is much less common is that which forms along the gum line of the tooth. These type of caries is often indicative of other functional and structural problems in the mouth.

Clinical symptoms of dental caries in the horse may not always appear and when they do appear their presentation can vary due to the position of the tooth involved and the severity of the caries process.

Some horses do not exhibit any clinical signs of discomfort, while others will show symptoms of pain in the mouth such as hypersalivation, difficulty chewing feed, sensitivity or aversion to drinking cold water, loss of appetite, and may show a change in behaviour. If the problem is severe enough there may be a foul odour from the mouth or discharge from the nostril if the sinuses have become involved.

A thorough oral examination with a full mouth speculum, bright headlight, dental mirror and fine dental probe are necessary for the diagnosis of infundibular decay. Visual examination will often reveal abnormal food packing into the centre of the occlusal surface of the tooth. The tooth is probed to assess the severity of the decay and degree of tooth involvement. It is important to assess the involvement of the decay, which may include radiographs, as that assessment determines the direction for further treatment.

Proper equilibration of the dental arcade will be of primary importance in the followup dental work as it will spare the weakened tooth from unnecessary forces.

Restoration of infundibular caries in horses is in its infancy in comparison to restoration of cavities in human dentistry. Although principles and applications from human dentistry may have some similarities, repair of the dental caries in the horse is a complicated process due to the structure of the tooth and the nature of the pathology.

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Pet Dental Month


Poor dental health for your pet can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease, common dental issues for your best friend. It is estimated that most pets show signs of periodontal disease as early as three years old. Regular checkups and good dental care can help to insure that your pet stays healthy, and keep you both smiling.

This past week we saw the crowning of a new champion at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Out of more than 2,800 dogs representing about 200 different breeds, a little Bichon Frise named “Flynn” pranced away with the Best In Show title. If you watched any of the judging on television you may have noticed that a judge would examine each contestant, beginning by pulling back its lips to check its teeth. In part, they compare the animal’s physical attributes to the standard for that dog’s particular breed, but they are also checking to confirm the dog’s age and health.

A pet’s teeth are a good indication of its general overall physical condition. While some ailments can cause dental problems, it’s very possible that poor dental health can cause internal disease affecting other parts of the animal’s body.

Dental issues usually result from a build-up of tartar, which begins in pets the same way it does in people, as food particles and other elements accumulate around the teeth. The teeth take on a brownish-yellow appearance and often the animal develops what many of us call “doggie breath”. That odor may be an indication that your pet has – or is developing – periodontal disease. As it progresses, periodontal disease can cause pain and discomfort for an animal. But untreated, infection in the gums could eventually spread to vital organs like the kidneys, heart and liver.

One way to keep your pet’s teeth healthier is have them checked by your veterinarian. The vet may recommend a teeth-cleaning procedure, which usually involves anesthesia, because most animals won’t sit still and open wide. Your vet may also recommend things you can do to help keep your best friend’s teeth, and its whole body, healthier.

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Dentist says salami and butter are key for good teeth


No matter how thoroughly you clean your teeth, you are probably still exposing yourself to tooth decay, according to one dentist speaking out about oral care.

Dr Steven Lin from Australia claims that meticulously brushing and flossing the way your childhood dentist taught you to is not enough to prevent cavities and harmful levels of tooth enamel.

The answer? Your diet, according to Dr Lin. He claims that maintaining good eating habits is the only way to stave off weak, unhealthy teeth.

Dr Lin says that incorporating four crucial vitamins into your diet will do worlds of good for your oral health, and he cautions the hygiene habits you have learned to develop since birth are not sufficient when it comes to caring for your teeth.

Dr Lin is the author of The Dental Diet, which is expected in 2018, and he also blogs about common misconceptions concerning oral health.

‘I’m about to say something that might surprise you. Your toothpaste isn’t that important. In fact, compared to proper dental nutrition, even brushing and flossing aren’t as important,’ Dr Lin says.

He writes that this explains why some people still experience tooth decay even if they follow their dentist’s recommendations.

‘Then there’s people who brush and floss religiously who are confused as to how they keep getting cavities no matter how many toothpaste brands and techniques they try.’

The problem comes down to the nutrients these people are consuming, he says.

Dr Lin boils it down to four vitamins that he claims will save your teeth – A, K2, D and E – and he warns that most people are not getting enough of them by following modern diets.


Without enough vitamin A, your mouth will not produce enough saliva that gets rid of harmful bacteria, Dr Lin says.

He explains: ‘When you aren’t getting enough vitamin A, your saliva glands can’t do their job and it can contribute to pits on the surface of your enamel.’

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, teeth chief among them. But that is not where vitamin D’s benefits stop, he says.

‘There’s actually a little immune system within your teeth, called your odontoblasts, which needs vitamin D to be activated. Your ordontoblasts are the cells of your teeth that produce dentin and are vital to tooth regeneration,’ he explains.

Dr Lin says that without vitamin K2, taking calcium supplements is useless. ‘Vitamin K2 is like the traffic cop for your calcium, telling it where and when to go,’ he says.

When people with K2 deficiencies take calcium, it goes to their kidneys and arteries instead of their teeth.

Lastly, vitamin E, an antioxidant, makes sure the levels of bacteria in your mouth are under control.

The supplement regulates the microbiome in your mouth, which houses viruses, fungi and bacteria.

Dr Lin says that without these four supplements, your teeth are not being cared for properly.

He writes: ‘I can’t emphasize this enough, you must get the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals so your teeth can continue to regenerate throughout your life.

‘Many mistakenly believe that they can prevent cavities and periodontal disease simply with good brushing habits and the right toothpaste – but this isn’t the most important factor.’ read more