Ok, I know I harp on this particular issue, and it is my divine hope you will finally read what I am posting and realize it truly is that important. The oral cavity is likely the area of the body with the most disease and is the area of the body that is the most ignored. I realize the mouth seems less than romantic, not nearly as awe inspiring as a broken leg or a hit by car injury, but it can be just as devastating as either of these.
Not only do we need to worry about infection in the mouth caused by poor gum health, or the disease processes which can occur as a result of nasty teeth, but there is definitely other pathology that can occur. Recently, I had a 12 year old cat present to me with a swollen mouth, foul breath and not eating. When I attempted to look in his mouth, it was obvious he was in pain and his teeth were very infected. What I did not know at the time was he also had a large mass under the tongue, extending into the throat. The teeth alone would have been bad enough, but at least that is a problem we can address and make better with extractions and antibiotics. But this mass was a different story. Not only was it obvious this had been going on a while, was painful and likely the cause of the decreased appetite, but it was not operable. And the likely diagnosis was an aggressive cancer.
I proceded to remove all of the affected teeth, treat the pain and remove as much of the mass as possible. I then sent a sample of the tissue to the pathologist so I would have a true diagnosis. 48 hours later my worst fears were confirmed, this kitty has a mouth cancer called Squamous cell Carcinoma and the long term prognosis is poor. The owners are heartbroken and there is little I can do to help them, which breaks my heart.
What I am trying to emphasize is that just because an animal does not act as if they are in pain, if we do not perform routine exams and hopefully find some of these problems early, the end result can be very sad. Please do not let this be your pet. I promise you, a little preventative maintenance will go a long way.