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Oral and dental abnormalities in brachycephalic cat breeds

Mestrinho LA, Louro JM, et al. Oral and dental anomalies in purebred, brachycephalic Persian and Exotic cat. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2018 Jul 1;253(1):66-72.

Two of the most popular breeds of cats according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association are Persians and Exotic cats. Because of a skull structure that lends toward their unique appearance, developmental dental anomalies may arise. These anomalies can contribute to various oral and dental diseases of the type commonly reported in veterinary practices. The investigators’ goals for the study were to determine the prevalence of dental abnormalities in a population of purebred, brachycephalic Persian and Exotic cats from different geographic regions and evaluate the potential relationship with oral disease in these cats.

The study was a prospective cross-sectional study including 50 purebred Persian and 8 Exotic cats where the cats were anesthetized to perform a complete dental examination, dental charting, 3-view oral photography and full-mouth dental radiography. The cases were from California, Lisbon, Portugal and Krakow, Poland. The cats were almost equally distributed among the sexes – 24 were female and 26 were male.

The results showed that malocclusions were commonly observed in 36 (72%) cats. Malocclusion of the canine teeth (30%) and crowding of the incisor teeth (50%) were the most common abnormalities. Crowding of teeth involving the mandibular premolar and molar teeth was also observed. Thirty-two of the fifty cats (64%) had at least one tooth with some form of positional change where orientation was the most common positional abnormality (79%) followed by rotation (1.4%) and impaction (0.37%). The mandibular incisor teeth were the most commonly affected by positional change. Numerical abnormalities were found in 38 (76%) cats, primarily hypodontia, 32 (64%), and 6 (12%) with hyperdontia. Maxillary 2ndpremolars were most commonly absent teeth and maxillary first molars were second most common.

Periodontal disease was found in 44 (88%) cats. As expected, periodontal disease was noted in older cats versus those without periodontal disease. Tooth resorption was also present in 35 (70%) cats. The teeth most affected with inflammatory resorption were premolar teeth and canine teeth were the ones most commonly affected with replacement resorption.

The investigators state the results suggest the unique oral and dental features associated with brachycephaly can predispose Persian and Exotic cats to dental disease such as tooth resorption and periodontal disease. Monitoring brachycephalic breeds of cats for development of dental disease would be beneficial in veterinary practices. (VT)

See also:

Perry R, Tutt C. Periodontal disease in cats: back to basics – with an eye on the future. J Feline Med Surg. 2015 Jan;17(1):45-65.