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.
However, we can offer a treatment strategy that brings relief to the majority of cats with FCGS. That treatment is extraction of all teeth and removal of any retained root remnants. This may seem extreme, but it truly is the best chance for lasting and meaningful relief for these cats.
To try to simply manage Feline Chronic Gingivo-Stomatitis with medications will result in frustration, continued suffering and drug side effects for these cats. In addition, the longer the mouth is inflamed before extraction, the longer it will remain inflamed after extraction.
With the use of digital dental x-rays, we can be sure to extract every inflamed and infected tooth. Intravenous fluids, antibiotics, pain relief and quiet supportive care for several days returns our feline patients to a happy conclusion of good health and pain-free living.
Pet cats do not need to hunt and kill their own food or chew raw meat, so they truly do not need teeth. What they do need and deserve is a life free of pain and inflammation.
Please feel free to call us at (803) 648-5489 if you have any questions.