Our expert says:
Your vet is correct in saying that the ginigval inflammation is as a result of plaque. We find that some cats over react to plaque resulting in differeing degrees of gingival inflammation. As far as we are aware, there is no link between neutering and plaque response so the onset following neutering is incidental. The soft tissure in the mouth (gums, cheeks and tongue etc) have a surface layer of cells that are continuously replaced by cells growing at a deeper level. This help to get rid of some plaque. The teeth however are solid and do not shed cells so the palque becomes attached and then becomes mineralised to calculus. In some cases it is possible to brush the teeth removing the plaque and resulting in healthy gingiva. In others, oral antiseptics are required and used daily (chlorhexidine oral rinses for animal use) and this can reduce the response by reducing the number of bacteria. Antibiotic is used from time-to-time to help reduce the bacterial load, allowing the animals to cope better but as soon as the course ends the conditions flares up again. Steroid use is beneficial from time-to-time but not constantly. In some cases we need to use steroid injections to help reduce pain so the animal can eat. In the long term if there is not sustained good response to the oral rinse (given 0.5ml twice daily by syringe into the mouth) we need to begin extractign some teeth. In about 80% of cats that have all teeth extracted healing c\occurs within about 2 months. A further 13% take up to 2 years to respond and about 7% never heal and require ongoing antibiotic and steriod treatment intermittently. Try giving them Greenies for cats and see if there is any response.
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