Resorptive Lesions in Cats

Have you heard of Tooth Resorption in cats? Tooth Resorption is the loss of a tooth’s structure starting with the enamel and progressing inward, starting at or below the gum line. There are 5 stages of tooth resorption. The first stage is mild tissue loss with no clinical warning signs. The second stage is moderate hard tissue loss, not fully down to the pulp. Third is deep hard tissue loss including the pulp. The fourth stage has hard tissue loss, and most the tooth has lost its structure. The last stage is remnants of tissue that can be only seen with x-rays. There are two types:

External and Internal

  • Internal is the breakdown or loss of the tooth’s root itself.
  • External is pertaining to the surface of the tooth. Ex. Inflammation.

It can affect anywhere from 28-68% adult cats. Female cats seem to be more susceptible to resorptive lesions. It can still be seen in dogs as well. Here some clinical warning signs to watch for in your pet:

  • Anorexia, lack of appetite
  • Head shaking
  • Oral bleeding
  • Sneezing
  • Inflammation of gums

Treatment for your pet is usually surgery. Radiographs are done to see the full detail and stage. Then the Doctor will the remove the tooth, either a partial or full tooth extraction. This ailment can be quite painful, so it is important to get it professionally looked at and dealt with.

There is no exact known cause for why resorptive lesions occur. It may be because of plaque buildup and inflammation. They also theorize imbalance of calcium regulation. Unfortunately, once a cat has had an occurrence, they are more likely to have more in the future. The best defence is an offence! Keeping your beloved pets’ teeth happy and healthy with regular brushing. Other options include a doctor recommended water additive that helps clean their teeth as they hydrate themselves. Greenies are also a great treat that comes with the added benefit of keeping plague buildup at bay.

Written by: Krystle Shaw, ACA

C, G., Lommer, M., Braganca, R. J., Okuda, H.
A., Collage, A. V., Schwalder M, A. P., . . .
Bohacek, L. K. (2016, February). External Tooth
Resoprtion in Cats. Retrieved from, Krystle, A, Shaw