Feline Chronic Gingivo-Stomatitis (FCGS)
Cats are weird, and they come down with some mysterious ailments. One disease has had a number of names over the years, and this is a reflection of how little we truly understand it. The current name among veterinary dentists is Feline Chronic Gingivo-Stomatitis (FCGS).
Most cats have some degree of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and many also have periodontal disease (deeper infection of the tissues below the gum line). An unfortunate few have a much more dramatic and severe inflammatory disease — Feline Chronic Gingivo-Stomatitis.
Felines with FCGS exhibit inflammation and redness, which extends behind the gums into other tissues lining the mouth. It is present even where there are no teeth and creeps to the back of the mouth, into the throat and under the tongue.
This redness, bleeding, painful inflammation returns rapidly after a dental cleaning or antibiotic treatment. Most cats that have this dental disease are thin, and their overall condition appears sickly.
We don't know that causes Feline Chronic Gingivo-Stomatitis. There is no evidence to point to any specific bacteria, virus or allergy. It does seem to be an abnormal local immune response of unknown origin. Unfortunately, because we do not know the cause, we cannot offer a cure.
Pet Dental Home Care Made Easy
I brush my teeth two to three times a day. I floss every other day. I see my dentist and hygienist for a professional evaluation and cleaning every six months. It's a combination of BOTH — daily plaque control at home and regular professional care, that keeps my teeth healthy. When was the last time you did anything to help your pet's teeth stay clean and healthy?
Gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue) and periodontitis (inflammation of the deeper tissues around the teeth roots) are caused by an invisible slime of bacteria. This is dental plaque.
Immediately after a professional dental cleaning, the teeth are clean as a whistle. When you brush your teeth at night, they are clean. However, this biofilm accumulates quickly and overnight.
Early plaque is a thin film and oxygen can penetrate it, so the aerobic bacteria tends to be relatively harmless. If the plaque is removed mechanically with a good tooth brushing, it doesn't progress.
However, if the plaque is left undisturbed, it grows thicker. Oxygen can't penetrate all the way through, so harmful, anaerobic bacteria starts to predominate. Within several days, the mature plaque film can accumulate minerals from saliva and food to form hard dental tartar. This mineralized tartar is much harder to remove.
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