What is Teeth Grinding in Cats?
Teeth grinding is often associated with humans, but cats also suffer from it. The condition, also known as bruxism, is characterized by the movement of the cat’s lower jaw from side to side, which produces clicking or chattering sounds. Bruxism is often associated with dental issues, but it can be an implication of a more severe health problem. The condition may be common, but definitely not normal in cats.
What causes teeth grinding in cats?
There can be multiple reasons behind bruxism in cats, but the most common cause is pain due to abnormal teeth alignment. This can lead to other issues related to their oral health, which are as follows:
- Tooth fracture
- Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) pain
- Mouth ulcers
- Inflammatory gum disease
- Tooth resorption
- Oral cancer
Abnormal tooth alignment, known as malocclusion, causes friction between the upper and lower jaws, causing excruciating pain in cats. The condition is common in Persian and Siamese cats because their long pointy faces causes the upper canine teeth to protrude forward abnormally.
If you hear chattering sounds made by your cat, then the problem could be feline tooth resorption. The condition causes the bony substance of cats’ teeth called dentin to erode, eventually causing breakage or loss of the entire tooth. Loss of appetite is also a sign of tooth resorption in cats. The inflammation of the lining of the cat’s mouth by swollen gums, ulcers, and other inflammatory diseases also cause bruxism.
Gastrointestinal conditions such as pancreatitis, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, and ulcers also lead to teeth grinding in cats. In some cases, behavioral disorders are also considered probable reasons for cats to develop bruxism. Although renal failure is rare in cats, it is associated with bruxism in cats to some extent.
How to treat teeth grinding in cats?
If you see symptoms of teeth grinding in your cat, you need to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. A majority of oral issues that cause teeth grinding in cats are diagnosed by examining your cat’s mouth. X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans may be required to identify the problem. Blood tests and other diagnostic procedures are needed to identify conditions occurring outside the cat’s mouth. Since the condition is characterized by excruciating pain in cats, proper pain management is needed in addition to putting right the underlying causes.
How to take care of your cat’s oral health?
The following are a few preventive measures that can help avoid bruxism in cats:
- Practicing dental care at home by brushing your cat’s teeth consistently
- Feeding a balanced diet consisting of raw meat.
- Scheduling regular visits to the vet’s clinic