Posted on: 20 August 2018Share
Believe it or not, cats don't get cavities, or at least they don't get traditional dental caries like humans and many other animals get. Instead, cats get a painful condition called tooth resorption which slowly destroys the tooth. This condition is not uncommon, especially in older cats, and while many people think it's normal aging, it's actually a medical condition. Here are some things you should know about tooth resorption and what you can do to prevent and treat the condition.
What is Tooth Resorption?
Tooth resorption begins when your cat gets a small hole in the tooth at or near the gumline. A lesion forms that begins to dissolve away the enamel and the minerals are reabsorbed back through the gums. Eventually, the tooth will deteriorate both over and under the gumline and the crown may actually break off.
What are the Symptoms of Tooth Resorption?
You won't see much, at first, but as the problem progresses, the gums around the tooth will look red and inflamed. You may even see some of the tooth material missing. When the decay is so bad that the nerves are exposed, your cat may chatter his or her teeth in pain, especially when eating hard food. He or she may not like his or her mouth touched and could have a negative change in personality because of the pain.
How do Veterinarians Treat Tooth Resorption?
Once the condition is noticeable, there's nothing the veterinarian can do other than removing what's left of the tooth. Often times, tooth resorption affects more than once tooth in the mouth, but are not always seen without a thorough examination. In some cases, in the early stages, the tooth may be able to be filled, but usually it's only a temporary fix.
How do Pet Owners Prevent Tooth Resorption?
Little is known about the exact cause of tooth resorption, but it is generally suspected that the modern feline diet and lack of dental care are major contributors. Pet owners can brush their cat's teeth regularly and use treats and toys that promote healthy teeth by either helping to clean them, or provide necessary nutrients.
Though tooth resorption happens in older cats, it's not a normal sign of aging and should be treated. You many not notice this condition until you actually see the tooth or teeth decaying as cats are very good at masking pain. If you think you see lesions around your cat's teeth and gums, or your cat is acting like he or she is in pain, then contact a veterinarian for an examination.Try these guys out for more help.