Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Teeth: calculus

Synonym(s): Dental calculus

Contributor(s): David Crossley, Mark Thompson

Introduction

  • Mineralized bacterial plaque deposits.
  • Treatment: scaling/polishing - not necessary unless periodontal disease.
  • Prevention: dietary changes/teeth cleaning.
    Print off the Owner Fact sheet on dental disease Dental disease in your cat to give to your client.
Follow the diagnostic tree for Halitosis Halitosis.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Mineralization of plaque deposits takes place through calcium and phosphorus salts present in saliva.

Specific

  • Feeding of foods that have little self-cleansing action.

Pathophysiology

  • Dental plaque mineralizes to form dental calculus.
  • Convenience diets (require little mastication, sticky in nature, lack fiber) contribute to build-up of debris on surfaces of teeth.
  • Food debris, leucocytes, microorganisms and desquamated epithelial cells   →  dental/bacterial plaque.
  • Bacteria proliferate within matrix of plaque.
  • Mineralized plaque through phosphorus and calcium salts in saliva   →   dental calculus.
  • Rough surface of calculus encourages further build-up of plaque.
  • Periodontal disease Periodontal diseaselikely to develop if calculus not removed, but not in every case.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Clarke D E, Cameron A (1998) Relationship between diet, dental calculus and periodontal disease in domestic and feral cats in Australia. Aust Vet J 76 (10), 690-693 PubMed.
  • Studer E, Stapley R B (1973) The role of dry foods in maintaining healthy teeth and gums in the cat. Vet Med Small Anim Clin 68 (10), 1124-1126 PubMed.


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