Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth in a Cat

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Cats suffer with abscessed teeth.
Cats suffer with abscessed teeth. (Image: cat image by nutech21 from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

The introduction of bacteria in the root of a cat's tooth can develop into an abscess. Tooth fractures and advanced dental disease create this bacteria and lead to the formation of a severe infection or abscess. Left untreated, an abscess can spread and cause more problems. The best way to avoid additional complications is to be aware of the symptoms and quickly seek medical attention.

General Symptoms

One sign that a cat has a tooth abscess is a swollen face. If this swelling is also associated with a bleeding nose, a trip to the veterinarian is indicated. The doctor's visual examination includes questions about the cat's appetite and recent eating habits. A loss of appetite is another sign that x-rays are necessary to confirm the presence of an abscessed tooth.

Severe Symptoms

FORL or Feline Ondoclastic Resorptive Lesions indicate a severe abscess. These are painful lesions on the neck, around cavities or on cervical lines.These lesions occur under the gums as well and makes identification more difficult. The veterinarian touches the gum line for signs of sensitivity. Other possible symptoms are cherry red gums and extreme salivation. With lesions present and additional symptoms, multiple abscesses are likely.

Mild Symptoms

Sometimes the only signs that a cat has an abscessed tooth is foul-smelling breath and minor drooling. If the sinus area is involved, swelling around and under the eye area may develop. The veterinarian might need to drain the infected abscess or even remove the tooth. The possible loss of a tooth is a good reason to pay attention to milder abscess symptoms in cats.

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