Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers (Chronic) in Cats

Oral Ulceration and Chronic Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis in Cats

One type of oral disease which affects cats is oral ulceration and chronic ulcerative paradental stomatitis (CUPS). It is a disease of the mouth which causes painful ulcers on the gums and mucosal lining of the mouth cavity. The cause of this condition has been determined to be a hypersensitive immune response to bacteria and plaque on the tooth surfaces, and sometimes signs of CUPS will start subsequent to a dental cleaning, when these materials are loosened in the mouth. 

Cats with this condition tend to develop lymphocytic plasmacytic stomatitis (LPS), which is a severe inflammation of the entire mouth. LPS is extremely painful and will interfere with your cat’s normal activities. It is indicated by bright red gums (gingiva) and mouth, bleeding gums, and crying out when eating or performing other normal activities with the mouth. While it appears that manipulation and antigenic (substances that stimulate the production of antibodies in the body) stimulation in the oral cavity may trigger stomatitis, it is also believed that such animals would probably have eventually developed the disease anyway. In some cases, the only resolution is to remove all of the teeth, so that the bacteria that is normally found on the surface of the teeth is no longer present in the mouth at all. Somali and Abyssinian breeds appear to be at a higher risk than other cat breeds for developing this disease.

Symptoms and Types

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Swollen gums (gingivitis)
  • Faucitis (inflammation of the cavity at the back of the mouth – the fauces)
  • Pharyngitis (inflammation of the back of the mouth, continuous into the larynx – the pharynx)
  • Buccitis/buccal mucosal ulceration (tissue of the inner cheeks)
  • Thick, ropey saliva (ptyalism)
  • Pain
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Mucosal ulceration on the gums that meet the lips – also called “kissing ulcers”
  • Plaque on teeth
  • Exposed, necrotic bone (alveolar osteitis and idiopathic osteomyelitis)
  • Scar formation on the lateral margins of the tongue from prolonged inflammation and ulceration



  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Uremia caused by renal disease


  • Protein-calorie malnutrition
  • Riboflavin deficiency



  • Pemphigus vulgaris
  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Discoid lupus erythematosus
  • Drug-induced―toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Immune-mediated vasculitis



  • Foreign body
  • Bone or wood fragments in mouth
  • Electric cord shock
  • Malocclusion


  • Acids
  • Thallium



A cavity in the mouth where the respiratory systems and gastrointestinal systems come together


A medical condition in which bone and bone marrow becomes inflamed


A medical condition in which the bone becomes inflamed


Prevention of something


A medical condition in which the mouth becomes inflamed


Any inflammation of a blood vessel or lymph.


An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness


Having to do with dead tissue


A condition of poor health that results from poor feeding or no feeding at all


Another word for the gums; the membrane around the teeth and the lining of the mouth


a) A type of antibiotic that kills both gram positive and gram negative bacteria.
b) A type of pesticide that is known to kill a whole variety of insects but also tends to affect other wildlife as well.


A medical condition in which the gums become inflamed


Relating to a disease of unknown origin, which may or may not have arisen spontaneously


Moving or located away from the midline; located along the side


The voice box; this is one part of the respiratory system


Used to refer to any drug or medical substance that has the ability to slow down or stop the growth of bacteria and other such organisms.

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