Feline Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption is a common dental condition in cats that, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, affects 72% of cats age 5 years and older. 

Tooth resorption lesions appear on the surface of the tooth, at the gingival border.  This is a progressive disease that leads to penetration of the pulp cavity and often tooth fracture.  Signs of tooth resorption lesions include mouth pain, especially while chewing, which can cause to anorexia, dehydration and weight loss.

However, it is likely that most cats will not show obvious signs of pain at home, so this painful process can cause your cat to suffer a long time, before the condition is noticed.  This is why your best prevention of tooth resorption is to combine annual veterinary exams with regular at-home care.

Tooth resorption can be detected upon regular checkups at your veterinarian.  During an exam, your veterinarian will look at your cat’s mouth and teeth for red gums and unusual tissue growth.  If a dental issue is identified, X-rays are almost always necessary to detect developing resorptive lesions and determine the extent of the damage.   If your cat is diagnosed with tooth resorption, your veterinarian will likely recommend removing the tooth. Usually, attempts to save the tooth are unsuccessful.  Your veterinarian will also give you advice about how to care for your cats dental health at home.

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