Stomatitis, or gingivostomatitis, is inflammation or ulceration of the gums and other tissues in the mouth. This painful condition can be caused by a variety of factors including, periodontal disease, viral infections, immune-mediated diseases or exposure to toxins. This is a common, painful problem that can become life threatening if it goes untreated.

There are a few symptoms of stomatitis, such as bad breath, red and inflamed gums, a decrease in eating as well as a decrease in normal grooming activities. The disease should be detected during a routine wellness exam, but most likely isn’t seen for the condition until the symptoms become more severe.

While there is no cure for stomatitis, proper dental care will help to prevent periodontal disease and bacterial infections that lead to the condition. It can be difficult to manage the condition once it has reached later stages. Anti-inflammatory medications can provide short term relief, but teeth extraction is usually necessary.

The disease is serious, but with dedicated care and routine dental visits, many cats suffering from stomatitis go on to lead happy and comfortable lives.