Gingivostomatitis is an incapacitating feline dental disease marked by severe and chronic inflammation of a feline’s gingiva (gums) and mucosa, the moist tissue that lines its oral cavity. Fortunately, the condition is reasonably unusual.
My Cat Has Gingivostomatitis and Caudal Stomatitis
Although the condition is most regularly identified amongst cats with particular viral illness — specifically infection with the feline immunodeficiency infection (FIV) — in addition to bacterial infections and numerous nutritional and hormone conditions, no direct causal relationship in between such disorders and gingivostomatitis has yet been developed. Any or all of these conditions, nevertheless, can cause an unusual immune reaction to plaque, the thin coating of bacteria that generally collects on the surface area of teeth.
Inning accordance with Jennifer Rawlinson, DVM, chief of the dentistry and oral surgery section at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, “The body immune system ends up being extremely reactive to plaque and causes severe inflammation in the gingiva, at first around an affected tooth and after that rapidly progressing to the tissue in the surrounding area. By the time a cat’s owner has noticed the swelling, it is likely to have spread out well beyond the tissue right away around the impacted tooth, possibly including the tissue in the back of the mouth — the glossopalatine arch — and below the tongue.”
When it comes to the link between FIV and gingivostomatitis, Dr. Rawlinson observes: “The body immune system’s inflammatory reaction is so abnormal in FIV-positive felines that their bodies just aren’t approximately handling routine oral infections. As an outcome, small infections become huge — and then the whole procedure just eats itself.”
The significant medical signs of gingivostomatitis include obviously extreme oral pain; swollen, ulcerated, and bleeding gums; absence of appetite or — if an affected feline appears excited to eat — the inability to do so; consequent weight-loss; extreme salivation; blood in the saliva; bad breath; and pawing at the mouth. “The condition of an affected cat’s teeth can differ,” Dr. Rawlinson notes. “They might appear to be normal or they may have a lot of tartar on them. It depends upon the stage of the disease.”
Veterinary assessment is apt to expose the existence of sores under the tongue and on the lips; in the back and on the roof of the mouth; and around numerous teeth, particularly the premolars and molars. “On average,” says Dr. Rawlinson, “somewhere between 3 and 5 percent of cats show signs of this disease. It can occur in juvenile cats as well as in older animals. The age variety seems to be from three to 10 years, but you can see the disease in more youthful and older felines also. I don’t see a strong predisposition for it among any of the various types.”
If the condition stays neglected, Dr. Rawlinson says, it is possible for it to end up being so painful that an affected cat will be not able to take in any food and might possibly starve to death. Although a biopsy of mouth tissue may be needed for a conclusive medical diagnosis, she keeps in mind, “you can figure out that it’s gingivostomatitis in about 85 percent of cases just by checking out a feline’s mouth.”
Treatment of this debilitating oral condition will typically involve either one or both of two options, depending upon the extent of the disease: medical management utilizing drugs to suppress the immune system and control the proliferation of bacteria in an afflicted animal’s mouth; or surgical management, which is likely to require removal of all a feline’s teeth. “If you get rid of all the teeth,” states Dr. Rawlinson, “you’ll be eliminating all associated bacteria. Once a feline overcomes a full-mouth extraction — which will take in between 5 and 10 days — it can go on to thrive extremely well. About 60 percent of cats will need no additional medical management and will have a high quality of life. It won’t have a normal oral cavity, however it will have such minimal swelling that it will not need medication.”
There is no preventive procedure for gingivostomatitis. Tooth brushing is extremely prevented in animals experiencing the disease as it will be really painful for them. Nevertheless, healthy felines can definitely gain from tooth brushing to keep their mouths healthy.
Also read: Questions About Cat’s Teeth