Back

Get started

Customized by You

Design your pet’s plan in less than 60 seconds.

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
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 askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

Q: What do I do if my...

As dog lovers, we all want our pets to...

Whether you have a cat that is outside...

Q: My cat Cupcake...

More From Figo Blog
Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

If you have extra time these days, perhaps...

Pet Professionals: Interview With Kristen Levine Pet Blogger | Figo Pet Insurance

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

A sense of satisfactions comes with doing...

Technology has changed almost every aspect...

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Dog and cat helping themselves to food in the refrigerator

We’ve all been a little hangry—grumpy...