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Cat grinding teeth after dental cleaning

My cat, Mitzi, makes a terrible grinding sound since she had her teeth cleaned 5 days ago. Took her back to vet who decided to remove a tooth that might be causing the trouble. This meant anesthesia twice in 3 days. She wouldn't eat, so I've brought her home. She tried to eat but the grinding sound is still there. She takes a tiny bite and starts shaking her head and making this sound. She is 17 - she was eating perfectly before the dental cleaning. I am at my wits end - has anyone heard of this? the vet seems stumped.
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi I'm not sure either...but just wondering IF the Vet took xrays as well? there could well be underlying PAIN following the cleaning due to FORL's this is an  reabsorption lesion that affects the roots of the teeth...and I'm just thinking if this is present Mitzi could now be hurting..

http://www.dentalvet.com/Encyclopedia/M04977.htm

My one cat was found to have this during recent xrays but he's alot younger and its only just started, apparantly is a very painful condition when it becomes worse...hope its not the case, just a suggestion.
let us know how Mitzi does ok....
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Avatar universal
Thank-you, hon - you are an angel!!!!! My Mizi, all my animals are absolutely precious - she is the oldest and she deserves nothing but the best. You do wonderful work on this forum - it has been an unbelievable source of comfort. Our babies can't speak, and we have to advocate for them. So many people suggested I just have her put down, because maybe it was 'her time'. While I would not allow a cat in agony with no hope of recovery to languish, I refuse to just give up without a fight. My prayers are with you and your Sami! Btw Mitzi is a Red-point Himalayan, but tiny - she is only about 6 pounds. Her son (only child - she only had one kitten) Hamlet (15) is sitting on my lap - he is enormous - more than twice her size. I would not care if they were street moggies - but I wanted to give you an idea of my darlings. God Bless - will keep updating.
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Avatar universal
So sorry Mitzi was put through all of that!  :-(  Maybe the teeth grinding was related to stress from the teeth cleaning, or she notices a change in her teeth, and therefore reacting to it by grinding.  For the Vet to "think" that it may "possibly" be caused from a tooth, and just pulling it, without taking an x-ray first, was completely RIDICULOUS!  Check your invoice to make sure that no x-ray was actually taken, because if you are correct, then I would look up a different vet immediately.  You are there for Mitzi to take care of her the right way, and in order to do that, you need a Vet that you can trust, and knows what he is doing.  You are also there to make Mitzi as comfy as possible, and sometimes it's best to just leave well enough alone when a cat (or dog) are seniors.  I have 3 beautiful 15 year old cats, and as long as it's nothing that is serious/needs direct attention, I don't have them go through stress that can be avoided, or anesthesia, that could end up taking their live, and then regretting having had it done.  Putting Mitzi under twice in 3 days was also RIDICULOUS, and dangerous, especially for her age.  My cat (BamBam) also grinds his teeth, but his teeth are fine.  He does it sometimes when he eats, or after throwing up.  If my Vet would suspect it's coming from a tooth/teeth, then he would first take a x-ray.  If it is something that needs attention, then I will have it done, but never if he would say "I think".  I feel with you that you regret having hat the teeth cleaning done, however, having had that done, was a sign of a responsible mama to Mitzi.  It was NOT your fault that she started grinding her teeth.  Trusting your Vet to have the tooth removed, was also not your fault because if you can't trust your Vet to take care of the well-being of your cat, who can you trust?  What you can do NOW, now that you have seen that nothing helped, and ended up leaving Mitzi in a worse condition (though she will get use to eating with even no teeth), is seek another doctor, or ask him why he never took a x-ray prior to just extracting the tooth....including why he put her under twice in such a short time span?  Remember, YOU are the one that decides what is to be done with Mitzi, but it would make things so much easier, if it was a Vet who you can trust with the info given, to make the proper decision.  I wish Mitzi well, and hope that she doesn't have to go through more unnecessary stress.  
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7052683 tn?1392938795
Oh I sooooooooo know how you feel!!

I have just gone through 3 months of tests, x-rays, ultra sounds and exploratory surgery. It cost almost $10,000  (I have Pet Plan insurance  and they paid all of it).......but the frustration ARGHHHH!! I wven went to 2 other internist for second and third opinions.

Right now I had to put her on Budesonide (a type of steroid) for Lymphocytic Enteritis  (IBD)----She is doing great though--finally--so she will have to live with the steroids. At least her life is happy.

Your vets are crazy not to give you at least pain meds until you can get this problem solved. Did you ask them if it could be Stomatitis and they need to remove the rest of his teeth for complete cure??

If not getting answers from them get a third and fourth opinion. .....and get CareCredit for the bills. Antar MUST eat----have you tried baby food or pureeing his regular food with a little tuna juice?  If they do not want to give you something that will make it ok for him to eat, tell them you need him on a feeding tube----at their expense--boy you will see them prescribe pain meds pronto!!!

Problem is Antar is elderly and has diabetes , so I am sure this is complicating issues...but your description of his aversion to his food bowl is exactly like Stomatitis--read about it on the web, you will see--FORL is all part of it.

They also could have filed his teeth too close to the nerve---Of course they won't want to admit that--that is why he needs another opinion.

I feel for you, friend. You can go "verbally" Postal on this forum, I think we have all been where you are at one time or another. Hang in there for Antar's sake.

Sincerely, CML
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Avatar universal
Thank you for your response.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I do not get any form of email notification when people respond.  That's why I never replied with updates for my original posts here years ago.

Thank goodness I found this page again.

Antar has been to the Dental Specialist 2x already.  Once to FIX what the regular vet did and again to cut down his lower fangs because they were cutting into his top lip.  The remainder of his teeth are in great shape.

I have not had him on any steroids during this time.  He was already a diabetic.  The less infection in his body, the less insulin I have needed to give him.  Most recently a vet prescribed prednisone, which I know causes diabetes in cats, but he thought it would be worth the risk if it helped, assuming that it may be something internal.  A CT scan a month ago didn't show any abnormalities, so I refused to allow the internal medicine specialist to charge me $1600 for an endoscopy exam.  I don't think he has any issues with nausea other than an empty tummy that hurts.

I found some articles about FOPS online as well as a video.  This is exactly the symptoms Antar has had since his first surgery... which has gotten worse after every subsequent surgery.  He can't eat.  He tries.  He stands over the plate... and the moment his tongue starts to protrude past his lips, the painful-looking teeth grinding (without teeth) and gagging and pawing at his mouth begins.  If he is lucky, he can get one bite of food swallowed before it starts... otherwise, he walks away frustrated and hungry.  

I emailed all his vets the articles I found and a link to view the FOPS cat video. All of them pointed at each other and ALL of them refuse to prescribe him anything for nerve pain.  If he was nauseus from tummy issues, I don't think he would be trying to eat at all.

Now I'm getting a referral to a veterinary neurologist!  I can't afford this anymore!  Antar is going to DIE because these jerks can't give me a simple medication without requiring $1000's in tests.  THERE IS NOT TEST for nerve pain.... only the outward tooth/jaw grinding, and pawing at face with weight loss.

I want to scream.  I want to cry.  I want to sue every vet in town for making me pay all this money for multiple surgeries he probably never needed.  He would have been better off with a mouth full of bad teeth, which he started off with.  At least the rest of him appeared happy and healthy.

If you hear about somebody going postal at a vet office, it will be me.  (just kidding... I'd NEVER do anything like that)
Helpful - 0
7052683 tn?1392938795
Hi Ms Vicky,

Your story is so familiar . My cat had a condition called Stomatitis which was an auto immune mediated desease that attacks the tartar and rootas of the teeth. This is soooooooo painful, it can cause a cat to stop eating not because they are not starving but it is just too painfull--drinking water was too painful gor my little girl. I knew she had this desease when I adopted her and I knew ALL her teeth, their roots and any stubs had to be removed. NOTHING can be left of the tooth. This needs to be done bt a vet dental specialists--they are the only ones familiar with making sure every piece of tooth is removed. As long as even a piece of root is left the pain will continue.

Sounds pretty drastic , Huh?  Well Mia was 4 years old when she had this done it cost $3,500 and a stay in the clinic for 3 days for iv feeding and antibiotic. The good news is she has been pain free
and a happy little girl ever since the surgery and she is now 10.

Here is the question for you....Antar is 15 years old with diabetes  and has  had anesthesia several times recently.

You can choose to have one more time with anesthesia and remove those stumps and lower teeth and any other hidden roots (seen by x-ray) by a skilled Dental Specialists and hopefully this will clear up the problem.
-You can continue with steroids and pain killers, but this will exacerbate the diabetes.

---If he has had steroids for this condition all along this may have caused the diabetes and the removal of all the teeth may not be as effective.

SOOOOOOOOO I suggest you find a Vet Dental Specialists who can answer ALL these questions and the two of you can make the best decision of your little man.
Money will be a problem , this is expensive (although he has very little teeth left, so maybe not much more than you have already paid)

You need to make sure your dental specialist takes CareCredit--most specialist do. This is a charge card that allows you to pay off the expense over 2 years with NO interest if minimum payment is paid each month. This is what I used , it is great .

If you have any more questions I might be able to answer I am here for you and Antar....and know EVERYTHING and feeling you are going through, it is enough to send us to the funny farm ourselves.

Our babies mean so much and when they hurt we just do not know what is always the right thing to do--that just comes with loving a precious creature who just cannot talk to us.  As long as everything you do is out of love and sparing pain--that is all we can do for them....and somehow they know this!

Keep me posted--I am here for you,
CML
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Avatar universal
After 4 months, 3 vets, 2 specialists, 5 surgeries, a CT scan, many x-rays and over $5000 in vet bills, I finally found your story.  He only has cutoff stubs of his lower fangs and the tiny lower teeth in the middle.  Everything else is gone because each trip back to the vet or dental specialist caused even more extractions to try to help him.  This is exactly what my poor Antar has been going through.  He's 15 year old and diabetic too, so on top of significant weight loss, not-eating consistently has made it hard to regulate his blood sugar and he was throwing up for several weeks, unable to keep down the little he DID eat.  The vommitting finally stopped, but he starts grinding his jaw the moment that he even looks at food... as well as all hours of the day and night, even when he is not eating or drinking.  I've watched him go from 15 lbs to 10 lbs in the last 4 months.  At 10 lbs, he looks emaciated.  Unfortunately, I cannot lay out another $1600 for more tests, just to pay another who-knows-what to treat the cause... if they even find it.

All vets are now assuming that it is NAUSEA, not pain.  He clearly wants to eat, especially when I put down tuna, but his jaw starts grinding before he even gets to the plate... and after a few bites, he can't get it to stop.

An internal specialist and 2 other vets assumed that it may be nausea related to GI problems.  She wanted to do a endoscopy today, which I had to turn down after they showed me the estimate.  They gave me some injections to take home to help with his nausea.  I drove him directly to the local vet to ask for covenia, thinking that he may have an infection, but if I can't afford any more testing, they recommended prednisone, thinking that it may help with pain, appetite and possibly help any potential lymphoma that he could have.  He wanted me to run the tests, but i can't afford it anymore).  Of course, I fear using the prednisone due to his existing diabetes.

I don't know what to do.  I'm so confused... and I'm mentally, emotionally, physically and financially worn out.  From what I understand from above, you put Mitzi on long term painkillers for "nerve pain"?... until it went away on it's own?  Was that your final solution?  I'm almost to the point where I may need to put him down... and I really don't want to.  He WAS a healthy cat with bad teeth and diabetes.  Now he's a terribly sick cat with diabetes and no teeth.

Please help.
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4741803 tn?1359210386
Thank you so much Marie, best wishes and hugs to you and yours from us across the oceans. Jen & Rufi
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Avatar universal
I'm so sorry to hear this! I'm really praying that it's just an infection. But I know  that Rufi is in the kindest, most loving hands, and she is lucky to have you.
You are both in my thoughts and prayers Big Hug
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4741803 tn?1359210386
Thanks mariemitz, well the 3 specialists and my vet say 99% its jawbone cancer, 1% it could be a bone infection.  But her little eye is closing up and they say thats probably the tumour going up.  The gums on the right side healed fine but the left side although they did start to heal at the beginning when she had the teeth out, 6 weeks later there was a big hole again which has never healed.  Theyve now got her on really strong antibiotics to see if that does any good, and she seems to be on the best of the painkillers. Shes still lapping the liquidised food from the syringe, in fact shes taken 3 full pouches today so almost 300 grms.  But wont entertain food in a bowl, probably because of the pain shes felt.  Its so heartbreaking.   Glad to see your Mitzi is doing so well, shes such a good age now, well done.  Best wishes Jen & Rufi
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Avatar universal
Oh gosh, I do feel for you Jen! Has it not healed at all, or is it healing slowly? I think older animals do heal slowly. I certainly hope it's not cancer, but if it is, please know I'm thinking of you. Do keep us updated!.

Yes, Opus, the Mitzi is quite blind, but still going strong. I know it can't last forever, but I'm enjoying her while I can. I have her on extra Krill oil and Vitamin E, and it's made a huge difference!
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4741803 tn?1359210386
Thank you my dear lady, you are so very kind. Jen
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
Marie, so nice to see a post from you and to hear that Mitz continues to do so well...keep us updated we love to hear from you.

Jen.....I got your reply in my PM, again I am so very sorry to read all abt poor little girl, there are times we just have to trust in what the specialists have told us, pain is treatable...however when any opening is not healing that is a strong evidence of cancer. With such a diagnosis along with the suffering its just sometimes in our dear little ones best interests to be euthanized, and everyone here knows how I don't ever like to say that to any pet parent. But sometimes I must in situations like you describe, I'm so very sorry you have recently lost her brother too and that makes it doubly hard to make that final decision.......but we must always in the end have compassion for our little ones and do what we know is right by them.
God bless you and your dear little girl, our hearts and prayers are with you hon♥
Helpful - 0
4741803 tn?1359210386
Hi Marie

Thanks so much for replying.  Im so glad Mitz is doing so well.  The Vets and specialists who have seen her xray say theres is nothing in the hole at all, but I will ask them about the drilling thing and FORLS.  She did have a lesion after the dental but thats gone, the gums just wont heal, they even tried stitching but they came out.  They are saying that as her teeth were broken it was this cancer eating the roots from underneath.  Its so hard as I only lost her beautiful brother to spinal cancer 3 months ago and shes now my world.   But I just cant leave her to suffer - its so hard.  Opus has very kindly been giving me some advice too - its so nice of you both.  Im taking all the advice on board.  Will let you know.

Thanks again for your time, with very best wishes.  Jen
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Avatar universal
You may also want to ask your vet try Gabapentin - I never did, but some have found it helpful...
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Avatar universal
Hi Jen
So sorry about your little girl - it's terrible to go through! Mitzi is now in her 19th year, and she is doing GREAT! I'm so glad I didn't listen to all the naysayers who thought I should put her down. I got great advice here (especially from Opus - thank-you again), and I wrote to every dental specialist vet on the net  could find.

It too about 3 months before Mitzi finally healed - she was on opiates all that time, and sometimes it was a battle to get even a teaspoon of food in.
My first question is, are they sure she doesn't have FORLS on that side? Before they start speculating about cancer? Because the residue of a FORL which is a part of a tooth which may be hidden under the gum that has very painful nerves which set off if irritated can be very, very difficult to spot. So please ask them to rule that out for sure.

The second thing that I've picked up is once these nerves become painful after a dental (and one feline dental specialist told me, most vets do not have the proper equipment for cats - they need particularly good drills etc so the vibrations from too large oens don't set off nerve pain. Cat's nerves are closer to the gum, which makes them more susceptible to these problems) - anyway, once the pain starts, once those nerves have been irritated,  it takes a long, long time to resolve. This was my experience with Mitzi - when we got to 3 months, I thought it would never go, but then, all of a sudden, it just started to get better.

The difficult thing is keeping them going and eating enough until that happens, and also keeping the faith. Btw, I used heaps of catnip to get madam to eat - if yours likes it that may help. Also warming the food, lots of gravy. I also found she quickly resented a flavor, because she somehow blamed it for the pain, so I had to keep a vast variety of different foods.

Please do let me know how it's going. I hope what I've said helps - if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!!

Wishing you and your little girl all the very best! Believe me, everyone told me to keep trying with Mitzi was a lost cause. I'm so glad I didn't listen. Big  Hug
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4741803 tn?1359210386
Hi Marie I have just been reading all the postings about your cat Mitz's condition, I do hope she is still doing well.  My 15 year old little girl is going through the same thing, had four top back teeth out in October and not been right since.  The right side has healed with no problems, but the left side still not healed.  Not eating, grinding mouth and shaking her head and pawing her face just like your Mitz was, shes been under a few times and they reckon theres nothing in the hole, she had an xray and they said theyre not sure but it probably is jaw cancer -a tumour under the jaw or in the jaw.  Ive been syringe feeding her for over 2 months now, and is on Meloxidyl and morphine.  Im heartbroken and dont know where else to turn.  I just wanted to ask you when Mitz was going through it all a year ago did her gum heal??  Im probably clutching at straws but just wanted to ask.  Im in the UK hope you dont mind me contacting you.  Many thanks, Jen
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Avatar universal
Will do! So glad to hear Sami and Nemo are getting along well. It is excruciating watching them suffer, and such a relief that my little girl pulled through. It shows that you should not give up too easily - so many suggested I have her PTS.
I see some vets in the USA give pain relief before, during and after a dental, to ensure the pain never gets out of control - maybe discuss this with Sami's surgeon.
All the very best!!! Hugs
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
morning marie....I'm just so happy for you and Mitzi too, poor little girl I too really had my doubts when nothing seemed to be working for her, its so hard to watch them suffer like that.

My boyz are good, Sami needs a dental too in a few weeks...and x-rays to see if the FORLS have progressed and than he'll need more extractions...I'm always so worried whenever they need anesthesia. If he does need more extractions I'm going to take him to a dental surgeon in the city, so I've been putting some $$ away for this possible expense.

Nemo is good, still the occasional unexpected puddle of pee left somewhere for me to find, the wet food pretty much cured him of that 2 yrs ago, but now he seems to like leaving me a little surprise now and than. than I get out the homeopathy drops which I need to be using more consistently.

you and Mitz take care, drop in once in awhile and let us know how you both are..((to you too))♥
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Avatar universal
Opus!!! How are you?
You got me through such an awful time. Yes I vowed i would reply if anyone had the same problem - I cannot believe we got through it. Mitzi made a fantastic recovery which astonished everybody - she's just had a snack, and is curled up sleeping on my bed.
How are your babies?
<3 Hugs
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi Marie.....I was so hoping you would reply to Zorro's mom with some news and 'great' news too....I  am sooo happy to hear that the pain did subside for little Mitzi and now she is now fully recovered..YEAH!!!!

purrfectmeow, Marie has given you very good advice. she is so right abt how important it is to get the pain under control so Zorro with eat....
from all the reading I've done and my own experience with cat dentals the best med for pain control is BUPRENEX....ask your Vet abt this particular one and hopefully you will come back real soon and tell us that Zorro is doing much better♥
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Avatar universal
My absolute sympathies - I came so close to losing Mitzi. I kept her on painkillers for nearly 2 months- the Temogesic, and kept feeding her at small intervals. The pain gradually improved, and as she got better at eating, I eased up on the meds until she didn't need them anymore. It seems like the pain takes a really long time to resolve - the trick is making sure they don't starve to death while that happens.
I honestly thought Mitzi wasn't going to recover, but she did. I would definitely ask the vet for painkillers, for as long as necessary. Zorro is obviously hungry, but then the pain gets to him. Mitzi is 18, and the prolonged use of painkillers has not affected her adversely. She would have starved to death without them. Don't let them give you anti-inflammatories though - they are dangerous to cats.
You are in the right place - I got so much support here - don't know what I would have done without it! Hang in there - at 6 Zorro is a spring chicken. Let us know how it goes. Hugs!!!
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1 Comments
Hi Marie, I noticed the date of your last post, it has been 5 years. and i am reading it in despair as my 15 year girl went for a dental procedure a month ago, removed one of her teeth. A few weeks later she gets worse by not eating, dropped to 2.9kg from 3.6kg in 4 weeks. She is having the exact symptom as your Mitzi. Grinding her teeth while trying to eat, become not interested in one flavor of wet food very soon…. I have been to the vet, he is good but not sure what’s going on…….I am in fear of losing her and beat myself up by putting her through this, before the dental procedure she was perfectly fine and very active and happy….your story gave me so much hope and I am going to see the vet again and ask for painkiller……..I am having trouble feeding her, she spit out anything I try to put in her mouth and hates me afterwards …. Thank you for sharing what you and Mitzi have gone through…. I am hopeful now
Avatar universal
Wow, I can't get over how similar your problem is to mine. 6yr.old Male cat "Zorro" recently had all of his teeth removed; I took him to the vet because he kept pawing at his mouth after only a bite or 2 of food (even liquids) after exam, blood panel, and x-rays, it was determined he needed to have 10 extractions. Well he continued to paw at his mouth, a biopsy was done, results came back negative. So the rest of his teeth were removed. Its been 1 month and he is pawing at his mouth after 1 or 2 bites, and he runs and hides after eating. This particular vet is very expensive, it wouldn't bother me if the surgery's were successful. Hope you're able to have a better outcome
Keep posting.

Helpful - 0
242912 tn?1402543492
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi Marie.  I'm happy to read that Mitzi is eating a little more on her own.  Poor sweet girl, she's really been through a time.  Yes, the meds will slow her down some.

We all care so please keep us updated, Marie.  

Prayers and Hugs to you and Mitzi~~
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Avatar universal
Thank-you again for you endless support!!! Spoke to vet - he suggested finishing the current course of Temogesic, and then looking at other options. She seems to be eating better - tiny portions, many times a day adds up eventually. I've only seen her fall once today, but she has been very quiet (maybe the meds). It seems like the mouth pain is a little more bearable, or getting better - she even asked for food once or twice. Still have the grinding after she's eaten, but it's not for as long.
It looks like you were right, Opus - it just takes longer for the pain to go away when the roots/bone is involved...will keep updating on how it goes. <3
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