Follow Us
Black and White Cat With Opened Mouth Showing Teeth

Cat’s mouth inflammation may require teeth extractions

Q: When our cat Angel starts eating, she cries and runs away from the food. Her veterinarian diagnosed stomatitis and showed me how red and raw Angel’s mouth is. He prescribed pain medicine and recommended that a veterinary dentist extract all her teeth. Won’t this cause more pain? How will Angel eat without teeth?

A: Stomatitis, or mouth (stoma-) inflammation (-itis), is caused by the immune system’s over-reaction to oral bacteria and sometimes other substances. Cats with stomatitis experience severe mouth pain. They drop food, are reluctant to eat and lose weight. They may have bad breath, rub their mouths, drool or stop grooming.

Treatment is most successful when the teeth are extracted, which minimizes the plaque bacteria provoking the overactive immune response. Of the cats whose teeth are extracted, 55 percent are cured and 35 percent improve markedly. Only 10 percent show little to no improvement and require medication or other therapies to manage the disease.

Before her dental surgery, transition Angel to soft food, which will be easy for her to eat after her teeth are extracted. Pain medicine will keep her comfortable until the extraction sites heal.

I know this treatment approach sounds drastic, but conservative therapies just don’t work well. Regular professional dental cleaning is not effective in these cases, because the bacteria that trigger the immune system quickly repopulate the mouth. Long-term antibiotics also are ineffective.

Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at

More From Figo Blog
Pet Professionals: Interview With Larry Kay Of Positively Woof | Figo Pet Insurance

Author, dog trick trainer, movie maker,...

Arthritis In Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Options | Figo Pet Insurance

We all strive to be responsible dog owners who...

Pet Food Trends | Figo Pet Insurance

If you thought that pet food is just about...

Getting To Know The Great Dane | Figo Pet Insurance

Looking for a faithful and loving dog with an...

Woman managing puppy behavior

Some behaviors with dogs work best with...

Older calico cat sitting on couch

Walk into any animal shelter and you’re likely...

Patriotic pooch: presidential candidates and their doggy doppelgangers

Election season has been in full swing for...

High-maintenance cat breeds require grooming

Generally, cats have the reputation of being...