Cat getting its teeth brushed

Cat Dental Care

We all realize the importance of our own dental routines to prevent the occurrence of dental disease within ourselves; dental care for our cats is equally important. Dental disease or periodontal disease is the most widespread disease associated with 70% of cats. It can lead to irritated gums, painful dental infections, tooth loss and can cause bacteria to travel through the bloodstream and compromise vital organs. Fortunately, with a proper dental routine designed for our pets, periodontal disease in most cases is preventable.

What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?

You may not realize that cat’s mouths play a large part in their overall health. Our dental services include teeth cleaning and polishing, tooth extractions and minor oral surgery. We also offer dental radiology to help us determine which teeth are causing problems. Cleaning of tartar is accomplished with an ultrasonic scaler/polisher instrument, very similar to equipment your dentist or hygienist uses. In addition, our dental procedures include the treatment of cavities, gum disease and various periodontal problems. Once the procedure is performed, all our instruments are sterilized to prevent the spread of disease between patients. Our veterinarians at West Hill Animal Clinic, will do a check of your dog or cat’s teeth, during each annual wellness exam and often during any of your visits.

What are signs of dental problems in cats?

Signs of periodontal disease can include, bad breath, hard yellow or brown build up on the teeth, known as tartar, red bleeding gums, difficulty eating or drinking, drooling, tooth loss or pain when the face is touched.

What are the causes of periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease starts with the buildup of plaque (a colourless film that contains bacteria) on the tooth’s surface. If the plaque is not removed or brushed away, then it can create an infection that will destroy your cat’s gums and the tissue, as well as the bone holding the teeth in place. When leftover longer periods of time, the plaque then turns into a hard yellow or brown build-up, called tartar.

What is feline tooth resorption?

Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLs) can occur on any cat’s teeth and at any age, though they are more common in older cats. These lesions are usually located at the gum line. They are pink in appearance; sometimes looking like a piece of the gum has grown over. The root of the tooth gets completely destroyed by cells, leaving just the crown behind. When the destruction starts to creep up onto the crown, this is when the lesions are visible. When they are visible on the crown, this is when they get very painful. Having the lesion present, exposes the nerve and sensitive inner area of the tooth.


Dog with mouth open and human inspecting its mouth with a magnifying glass

Why does my dog’s breath smell?

Bad breath (halitosis) in a dog or cat is usually because of poor dental health.  Occasionally a dog or cat may have good teeth and still have bad breath in which case the diet is usually the cause. This is relatively rare, however, compared to the likelihood of a dental issue.

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Last updated: July 26, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we have made some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Friday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at West Hill Animal Clinic