Tooth resorption: Don’t let your cat suffer in silence

Tooth resorption

Fifty percent of cats over the age of three will have at least one tooth affected with tooth resorption.  Tooth resorption  is painful and quite frequently not noticed by the owner.

Tooth resorption is also known as feline oral resorptive lesions, cavities, and cervical line lesions.  The exact cause of tooth resorption is unknown.  Lesions can occur on any tooth and it is common for a cat to have multiple teeth affected.  [Tweet “Tooth resorption is painful and quite frequently not noticed by the owner.”]

Tooth resorption typically begin on the outside layer of the tooth and works its way into the sensitive portion.  This is a progressive disease and can present in many different stages.  These lesions can be hard to see because they commonly occur along the gum line.  Dr. Anna Coffin recommends full mouth radiographs on cats diagnosed tooth resorption.  Cat’s that have had tooth resorption will most likely develop additional lesions in the future.

Signs of tooth resorption

  • Some cats show very subtle or no signs at all; many cats suffer in silence
  • muscular spasms or trembling of the jaw when lesion is touched
  • excessive salivation
  • gingival inflammation:  gingiva growing onto or into the resorptive lesion
  • oral bleeding (monitor around food or water bowls)
  • change in food preference from hard to soft
  • accumulation of tartar because cat is painful and not chewing on that side

Treatment is extraction of all affected teeth.  Unfortunately, since we do not know what causes tooth resorption, we do not know how to prevent it.  Annual to semi-annual dental examinations by your veterinarian can help minimize pain and suffering from tooth resorption.

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Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four-legged friend as part of the family.

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