What Is Stomatitis?

Stomatitis in the mouth of a cat after her teeth were pulledStomatitis is a compound word derived from Latin, as the names of many medical conditions are.  ‘Stoma’ means ‘mouth,’ and ‘itis’ means ‘inflammation.’  Therefore the term ‘stomatitis’ refers to an inflamed mouth.

No one is precisely sure what causes feline stomatitis, but some of the popular theories are that the cat’s immune system rejects their teeth as foreign invading objects, either because of a defect in their immune system or because of a harmful bacterial plaque on the teeth themselves.

You may have heard feline stomatitis referred to by other terms, including feline chronic gingivostomatitis, lymphocytic-plasmacytic stomatitis, feline generalized oral inflammatory disease, and immune-mediated feline refractory stomatitis.

Regardless of the name, it is serious, and you need to be able to recognize the symptoms of this painful ailment so that you can seek proper treatment for your cat immediately.


What Is Stomatitis? — 61 Comments

  1. My DLH has pretty fur that smells great but had a mouth that smelled like a sewer. She’s her gums were red around her teeth. I started Vetri Science Perio Support and her mouth is so much better!!

  2. Lisa,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Haley’s prognosis. I’ve never heard of this particular form of stomatitis so I don’t know how it differs from the kind Lily had, so I’m not able to offer any specific advice. You can try some of the things that have worked for other people, but if you aren’t able to find something that helps then you might want to have a long talk with your vet. I know that some of us have been had cats that seemed close to death’s door but found the right combination to help our cats and give them happy lives. I hope you are able to find the right treatment for Haley.


  3. My 10 year old cat Haley was diagnosed with lymphocytic-plasmacytic stomatitis today after bloodwork (which didn’t show anything) and an x-ray (which also didn’t show anything) and sedation to remove a polyp from her throat (which she didn’t have). She has not eaten in days and has extreme difficulty breathing. She has a terrible “wheazing” sound while trying to breathe. Her issue is not with any of her teeth, it’s small bumps in the back of her throat. We were sent home with steroid drops and antibiotics. From what I have read on line this is very painful and prognosis is not good. I am so worried that I am not making the best decision for her. Can you offer any other advice? I cannot see her suffering like this.

  4. Thank you for your response. Good to know. My poor baby had full mouth extraction. Has a steroid shot once a month and a week of antibiotics monthly as well. Going to try the lysine. She is a huge cuddle bug and is next to my face sleeping a lot. So glad to hear no threat to humans.

  5. Sherrie,

    No, not at all. You are safe to handle your cat if it has stomatitis. There are very few animal illnesses that can be passed on to humans and I don’t think any are from cats.


  6. Mrs. Martin,

    Cat teeth are very brittle and break easily. Sadly, not all vets take x-rays and we often find out the hard way, as you have, that fragments are left behind. I didn’t know that, either, until we went to our current vet who educated me on this. I’m so glad you found a vet who was able to take care of the fragments and hopefully this will be all that Bob needs to feel better.


  7. My male cat named Bob was diagnosed with Stomatitis and had his teeth pulled by a previous vet but was still having problems I took him to another vet recently after being on high doses of steroids and antibiotics and he took an xray and found that the teeth that were pulled were actually broken off and had remaining roots and debris left , yesterday he went in for surgery to remove what was left behind. Always have them xray your cats mouth to make sure nothing is left behind . He is expected to make a full recovery. Will update in the future on Bob’s recovery.

  8. Nicole,

    I’m so glad to hear that you were able to help Billy find relief! Yes, a full tooth extraction is sometimes the best way to help our little fur babies. I hope that Billy continues to heal.


  9. Red,

    I use Vetoquinol Viralys Powder, which is the one seen on my website. I don’t know if this will help but I mix the Lysine and PlaqueOff with water and a spoonful of wet food, then mix it together to make a slurry. That way I don’t have to worry about some of the powder not being ingested and all five of my cats lick the bowls clean every night. I made a video showing how I mix the food here – http://stomatitisincats.com/how-i-give-lysine-and-plaqueoff-to-lily

    This is the first time I’ve heard of cloves being used like this. If cloves have the potential to damage the liver then you might consider getting bloodwork done every so often to make sure all is well. I hope this all works for Moran.


  10. What brand of Lysine do you use? I ordered some and found that mine has a strong odor and Moran won’t eat very much in one sitting. I’m also trying to find some calorie heavy treats for him. He won’t eat raw foods. It’s very annoying. I’ve been putting silver in his food but I am thinking I should start adding it to the local drinking hole. Everyone would benefit from it and I found a good low particle product that is safer for pets.
    Once a week I’m putting cloves on his gums. Cats are not supposed to have too much of this stuff since it’s hard for them to process it through the liver. But considering vets give the cats steroids and other liver toxic drugs I this shouldn’t be too bad when given once week, diluted, and just on the gums. It really helps him. I’ve had cloves oil treatments when I had dental surgery and it really felt wonderful.

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