I have a three year old cat who recently began swallowing some of his dry food without chewing. I brush his teeth with enzymatic toothpaste every two to three days on average. I attached two photos of the only part of his mouth that concerns me. The Vets in my area charge $80 just to look at a pet, in addition to the cost of any treatment that may be necessary, so I’m hopeful someone in this community can tell me whether to schedule a cleaning or just a checkup.

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This is mild to moderate gingivitis.

Could it be a source of discomfort? Yes. Severe pain? Probably not.

There are differing opinions as to whether brushing helps; in some cases you can irritate the gums further by brushing.

A professional dental cleaning is usually recommended as a first step to remove the plaque and tartar that triggers gingivitis. It is common for the tartar to accumulate over the upper fourth premolars, as shown in your photos. However, there are other causes of gingivitis, so it may not resolve with this treatment alone.

The best course of action is for your veterinarian to perform a thorough oral exam to determine the best treatment plan for your pet.

  • As it does not look so severe, I think there is also a risk that a general vet does not pay enough focus on that. If you happen to know a vet specialising in teeth, he/she might be even more helpful. If you pay $80 to get your pet looked at, I suppose you may have pet dentists around. [Not necessarily, though]. Luckily, as your cat is still young, one should be able to safely use anethesia, if needed, to allow proper cleaning. Also in this sense, good to be proactive, as having old pets where anesthesia is too risky, of course also depending on their behavioural, it can get difficult. – Tuomo Sep 16 '19 at 13:38

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