One of the easily most overlooked aspect of cat health is a cat's ability to maintain good oral health for a lifetime. Unhealthy gums in cats can be overlooked or minimized by a pet owner as an area that does not garner much concern in the big picture, but unhealthy gums in cat can lead to a considerable number of associative issues and cause a cat distress in eating, swallowing and maintaining a constant weight. One of the very first areas in which a veterinarian checks a cats health on a routine visit is by examining it's mouth, and a cat owner should learn the signs of unhealthy gums and routinely check their cat for problems. Any dental problem that is caught early in it's progress will improve the chances for a complete recovery, without undue stress to the animal or an outrageous vet bill for the owner.
One of the most common signs of unhealthy gums in cats is Gingivitis, marked by a red line occurring where the gums and teeth meet. Especially in older cats, Gingivitis is most common and can be discovered by the usual red line or just plain horrible breath odor. This malady can easily cause a tooth abscess and loosen a cat's teeth or even make them fall out completely.
Unhealthy gums in cats can also be marked by mouth ulcers on the gums, cheeks or tongue. While usually not a cause for extensive concern, these ulcers can mask the presence of a much greater health risk such as respiratory illness or kidney disease. Any mouth ulcer that does not heal itself quickly in a cat should absolutely be inspected by a veterinarian to disqualify a serious illness as the root cause.
Salivary Cysts can be quite a serious issue in the area of cat health, as saliva glands become blocked. The infection that accompanies these salivary cysts can spread quickly to other organs, possibly turning a situation that was minor in it's inception into a life-threatening circumstance if not treated.
In any instance where a cat has difficulty eating or swallowing, shows excessive drooling or paws at it's mouth there is a high probability that a gum issue is present and merits further investigation. While helping you cat maintain good oral hygiene by brushing it's teeth regularly with products designed specifically for cats teeth is a good start, the most productive manner to ensure good gum health in cats is to seek regular veterinarian assistance.