Periodontal Abscess in a Cat

The periodontal probe in the pocket which confirms the periodontal pocket

While advanced periodontal disease is thought of as being a small breed dog condition, cats do develop periodontal disease and can have significant secondary infections from it. In addition, oral abscesses are generally due to endodontic (root canal) infection, but they can also result from deep periodontal infections.

A 5-year-old cat came to Veterinary Dental Specialties & Oral Surgery for advanced widespread gingivitis as well as a draining tract on the left maxillary canine (204).  The patient was placed under general anesthesia and a complete oral exam and dental radiographs were exposed. This confirmed a 4 mm periodontal pocket on the buccal aspect of the tooth. The draining tract communicated with the infected periodontal pocket. Dental radiographs revealed an infrabony pocket on the buccal aspect of the tooth. The tooth was endodontically healthy.

Treatment options for advanced periodontal disease are periodontal surgery and extraction. The client elected to attempt the former. This is a much less invasive surgery, can save the tooth, and will avoid the possibility of lip catching.

An envelope flap was created and open root planing performed. The defect was filled with an osseopromotive material and barrier membrane and the defect closed.

It is vital for cat owners to know pet dental disease is not just for the dogs! Cat owners should know the following about caring for their cat’s dental health.

  1. Annual veterinary dental cleanings under anesthesia are an important part of caring for you cat’s health. These cleanings can help identify problems early before they cause serious infection and damage.
  2. Care for your cat’s teeth at home with regular teeth brushing. Learn about brushing your cat’s teeth.
  3. If you notice your cat is not eating or you notice anything unusual in your cat’s mouth, contact a veterinary dentist right away.