If your cat has been diagnosed with the obsessive-compulsive disorder known as pica, you undoubtedly are worrying about your cat. Aside from the general danger of your cat consuming things that can potentially create blockages in their intestines or even poison them, there's one other potential threat. Cats with pica may have an affinity for chewing or biting hard objects, which can harm their teeth. This guide will help you to support your cat's oral health and reduce the risk of damage to their teeth and gums.
How Pica Harms Teeth
Cats' teeth are incredibly strong, and are meant to be able to tear away at meat and even crunch through small bones to get the marrow inside. However, their teeth aren't designed to chew on pebbles, wood, or other hard substances. Given enough time, chewing on these substances can damage the enamel of your cat's teeth, increasing their risk of cavities, or even causing a tooth to break or become fractured.
Treatment and Preventative Care
The very best way to protect your cat's teeth from this damage is to regularly see a veterinary dentist. While all cats should see dentists regularly for cleanings, your dentist will also be helpful in examining your cat's teeth for signs of damage. If damage is found, removing the tooth may be necessary. However, while that sounds extreme, removing the tooth will prevent the tooth from starting to die in your cat's mouth, and causing infection in the gums.
In addition, regular dental visits that reduce plaque and tartar on your cat's teeth will keep them as strong and healthy as they can be. At the same time chewing on hard surfaces can weaken enamel and increase the risk of cavities, excess plaque and tartar can also weaken enamel, making your cat's teeth more brittle and inclined to break if they bite a hard object.
Pica-Proof Your Home
Aside from regular dental checkups, do everything you can to pica-proof your home. Search your home from top to bottom for hard objects your cat has previously chewed on or might be interested in chewing on. These things need to be moved out of the cat's reach, or gotten rid of. Since the cause of pica isn't fully understood, there's no real way to prevent your cat from biting except to get rid of the things they like to bite.
Pica is a strange disorder that can hurt a cat's health in many ways. By taking steps to protect your cat's oral health now, you can prevent serious damage in the future. For more information, check out companies like Gwynedd Veterinary Hospital.