Gingivitis Average Cost

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What are Gingivitis?

In periodontal disease, the structure supporting the teeth under the gumline is diseased by bacteria that has entered the gingiva, or gum pockets, and causes inflammation and bleeding. The inflammation can spread to other parts of the mouth causing discomfort and difficulty eating. Gingivitis can sometimes be associated with a condition called stomatitis (gingivostomatitis) in which lesions form on the gingiva and surrounding areas of the mouth. Also, sometimes during treatment for gingivitis an underlying systemic viral condition may be discovered.

Plaque build-up is the most common dental issue affecting cats. Without a proper cleaning, this buildup can lead to a gum disease called gingivitis. It is one of the earliest signs of periodontal disease and is reversible with proper care, but if left untreated could become severe and lead to more advanced stages of the disease.

Symptoms of Gingivitis in Cats

The first symptom you may see in gingivitis is occasional bleeding or perhaps blood when your cat eats. Upon closer examination you may also notice:

  • Redness and swelling in the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Visible plaque build-up
  • Decreased appetite
  • Inflammation of the oral mucosa
  • Irritability
  • Discomfort

When you see these symptoms, it is time to call your veterinarian and schedule a thorough dental cleaning before the condition becomes more serious.

Causes of Gingivitis in Cats

The accumulation of plaque and its accompanying bacteria are the primary cause of gingivitis. Other circumstances that may make your cat sensitive to the development of gingivitis are:

  • Mouth chemistry
  • Breed disposition especially if pure-breed
  • Bartonella bacteria
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Feline immunosuppressive virus
  • Diabetes

Diagnosis of Gingivitis in Cats

Your veterinarian will perform a routine, general physical examination as well as an examination of the mouth after asking you a series of questions concerning your cat’s dental care and health history. A separate appointment may be needed for a more thorough dental examination. 

During this second examination, your veterinarian will first anesthetize your cat, take dental x-rays, draw blood to evaluate your cat’s systemic condition and blood cell count, and check for the severity of symptoms like depth of gum pockets and amount of plaque and tartar build-up. 

If lesions are found, that would indicate a condition called stomatitis. Stomatitis is poorly understood, but the prevailing thought is that it is caused by either bacterial or viral infections, or from a hypersensitivity to oral antigens. In addition to the symptoms of gingivitis, your cat may experience difficulty swallowing, drooling, fatigue, and weakness. Your veterinarian may also find loose or missing teeth during the examination. Tests for underlying systemic diseases such as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline calicivirus (FCV) will be conducted to determine a possible cause for the lesions. A biopsy will also be taken to test for the possibility of cancer.

Usually, diagnosis will be immediately followed by surgical treatment within the same visit.

Treatment of Gingivitis in Cats

Treatment for gingivitis is fairly simple. There are four steps to a thorough dental cleaning.

  • Removing Build-up: Your cat’s teeth will be scaled to remove the plaque and tartar buildup both above and below the gumline. 
  • Polishing: The teeth will be polished to remove any remaining plaque and to create a smooth surface to prevent plaque from reforming. 
  • Rinsing: An oral rinsing with a special solution will flush any remaining buildup between the teeth and remove bacteria. 
  • Probing: Additional examination of the mouth will be conducted to assess any additional issues.

If your veterinarian finds any additional oral issues or underlying conditions in your cat, the next steps for treatment will be discussed with you. The treatments may or may not be surgical. Often, extractions are necessary, due to bone loss, fractures that are exposing the pulp canal, root abscesses, and resorption. If stomatitis is found, often all of the teeth must be removed (full mouth extraction) to relieve pain and aid in general recovery from the underlying condition. 

For any remaining teeth, a sealant may be applied to prevent future buildup of plaque and tartar.

Recovery of Gingivitis in Cats

Some cats do not respond well to treatment even after a full mouth extraction. The reason is unknown, but it is suspected that there are enough persistent bacteria in the mouth to keep the mouth inflamed and irritated. Your veterinarian will prescribe pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics to help control the disease. If your cat continues to not respond to treatment, additional testing will be necessary.

If a diagnosis of a systemic virus such as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, or feline calicivirus is confirmed, medications to treat it will also be prescribed.

Assuming your cat does not have stomatitis, you will most likely not need a follow-up appointment unless symptoms reappear. If this occurs, call your veterinarian right away. A more in-depth examination may be necessary to rule out any other underlying conditions. Otherwise, you should expect to have your cat’s teeth cleaned at least once every year by your veterinarian. More frequent cleanings may be necessary depending on the severity of your cat’s condition.

Regular brushing of your cat’s teeth is the best way to prevent gingivitis both initially and again in the future. Your cat’s teeth should be brushed at least three times a week. An antibacterial rinse may also be suggested. Your veterinarian will instruct you how to brush, and what tools and toothpaste to use. Do not use toothpaste made for humans.

You should consider changing your cat’s food to one that has higher plant fibers that helps to prevent plaque build-up. As your cat eats, the fibers scrape against the teeth and acts as a natural plaque remover. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. Certain dental chews and treats may also be helpful.

Regular cleanings at home, routine examinations by your veterinarian, and a proper diet are essential for good oral health for your cat. 

Gingivitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

9 Months
Moderate condition
-1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


Hello! My cat is a 9 month old male, inside cat. We rescued him and his brother from the Humane Society. They eat Kit n’ Kaboodle dry food, some treats couple times a week and the occasional ‘mousy burger’ aka tiny ball of raw ground chuck. I have always had issues with them getting little bits of their dry food EVERYWHERE, almost as though when they are chewing, they shake their head and crumbs go flying. Today I gave them some gr chuck and I watched the one leave little bits of it on the ground and he acted like it was sticking to his teeth or something then he just stopped eating. So I looked at his mouth and noticed his gums. Just around the edges of his gums it’s just as red as can be. Every single tooth. And I think he is uncomfortable which breaks my heart. His brother has it VERY mildly on just a few teeth but I wondered what it is. Is it gingivitis? I appreciate any help as money is a bit tight for vet visits right now, I’m a single mom. But I can’t let my babies hurt so I’ll work it out if they need to go. Thank you kindly for your time.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2740 Recommendations
Given Remy’s age, it sounds like it may be feline juvenile gingivitis which may affect some kittens around Remy’s age, there are various possible factors involved here but you should speak with a Veterinarian to get the condition diagnosed properly so you know you’re on the right track; some infectious diseases may present with gingivitis. The link below is to a third party website with Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My cat has gingivitis as I was told my the vet. He gave her antibiotic injections for three days and then asked me to continue the medicines orally for 3-5 days. As my cat would refuse the medications I couldn't continue the treatment. Recently I have started the antibiotics again at home. It's been 3 days. I was wondering if I should continue them for 5 days or a whole of 7 days now?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2740 Recommendations
Ideally you should give the full seven day course, but you should also have Misty’s teeth checked by your Veterinarian again afterwards to see if any further treatment is required (cleaning, scaling etc…). You shouldn’t commence a course of antibiotics without consulting your Veterinarian but since you are on day three you should complete the course. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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17 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Very quiet
Pulling out fur
Off her food

Medication Used

Pain relief

My 18 year old cat been unwell for approx 5months, has had bloods done and a dental clean she is still drooling and pulling her fur out she a lot of saliva in mouth she is also off her food now at first vet said cat flu then gingivi but I'm not convinced

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2740 Recommendations
Without examining Rudy it is not possible for me to confirm any diagnosis made by your Veterinarian, ideally if you’re having doubts on a diagnosis you should visit another Veterinarian for a second opinion to see if it matches your Veterinarian diagnosis of gingivitis. There are many different causes for drooling and pulling out of fur which is why a thorough examination is best. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Gum Inflamation

My 6 year old cat has gingivitis since 4 months now. Vet has performed dental scaling twice which relieves her from the pain for sometime and the infection comes back again after which she refuses to intake any oral medicine. Her teeth are strong and extractions is my last option before which I would like to give everything a try.She is in extreme pain now and the vet keeps giving her injections to reduce the pain.I really want a permanent solution to this. Should I consult a homeopath?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2740 Recommendations
If you are looking for alternative treatments, I would be more inclined to lean towards traditional chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) as there are many effective treatments for various conditions; there is a link below to a directory of Licensed Veterinarians with TCVM training. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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7 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

tartar buildup
Red gums

I was just at the vet and told that my cat has gingivitis. Her gums are a little swollen and her teeth have minor tartar buildup but more towards her back teeth. I was told that if she does not get cleaning within the next year or two her teeth will need to be removed. This is a very costly procedure. Do you think it is possible and just as good to get her dental treats and supplements and just start brushing her teeth instead?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1251 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. When we professionally clean a cats teeth, they go under an anesthetic, we scale the tartar and plaque off of the teeth and polish, both above and below the gumline. Regular cleanings are important to prevent more advanced disease, just as in people. At this point it would probably be painful to brush her teeth, and dental treats are minimally effective once tartar is already there. The best thing to do is to get her teeth cleaned, then see if she will tolerate an introduction to brushing to try and keep them healthy from this point forward. I hope that all goes well with her.

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2 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

bloody discharge nose
bad breath

Is it normal for a 2 year old ragdoll cat to get gingivitis and a sinus infection? He has bad breath, bloody discharge from his nose and the vet said gingivitis.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2740 Recommendations
Typically we see conditions like gingivitis appearing in cats from the age of three with many being affected by the age of four, although younger cats may be affected; diet and oral hygiene play a big role with cats being fed a wet diet with no teeth cleaning most being affected. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

We only feed Finn dry food. Thank you the response.

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