Five Signs Your Cat Has A Dental Infection

Cats can be quite secretive when it comes to pain, even if it is dental pain that is affecting their ability to eat, drink, and groom. Knowing the signs of dental infection can help ensure you have the issue treated promptly.

1. Eating Difficulty

One of the first and often most obvious signs of dental distress is that your cat isn't eating as much as usual. Your cat may put off eating until they absolutely can't stand the hunger anymore. Then, they may only eat a small amount or they may go overboard and eat too much, depending on the cat's personality. A combination of pain, illness from the infection, and eating too much after a period of fasting. Treatment of the infection will help fix any issues with your cat's appetite.

2. Excessive Drooling

Pain and infection can lead to heavy drooling. In some cases, the liquid dribbling from your cat's mouth is drool, while in others it could be the effect of an abscess draining. Abscesses are a result of a severe infection. Your cat's dentist will need to drain the abscess and treat the cause of the infection to solve the problem. 

3. Swollen Tissues

If your cat's face looks lopsided or swollen, it could very well be due to a dental infection. If you can look inside your cat's mouth, you may be able to verify that the source is dental and not due to an injury to the face. Look for swollen, red, or bleeding gums. Broken teeth, exposed tooth roots, and an injury inside the mouth could also be the cause of the swelling. 

4. Face Pawing

A cat may paw at their face if they are suffering oral pain. Head shaking or holding the head obviously to one side are other side effects of dental pain. Your cat may also yawn or open their mouth more often than usual if they are suffering from a dental infection. Holding the head to one side or pawing at the face can also be indicative of other ailments, so it is vital that you contact a vet or a cat dentist right away. 

5. Grooming Avoidance

Cats use their mouth as their main grooming tool, which means they will generally groom themselves less often if they are suffering any dental pain. Your cat may suddenly stop grooming completely, or their grooming sessions may be accompanied by other signs of discomfort such as yowling, jaw chattering, or head pawing or shaking. 

Contact a cat dentist or a veterinarian if you suspect that your cat has a dental infection.