Feline Tooth Resorption
Tooth resorption is a disease that is more common in cats than in dogs. Approximately 50% of cats three years of age or older are diagnosed with tooth resorptions. The underlying cause is unknown, but we do know that it is a very painful process where the body essentially attacks the tooth structure. Resorption typically starts at the gum line and progresses into the pulp canal of the tooth where the nerve and blood supply are located.
Sometimes, astute owners will notice their cat salivating, dropping food, chewing on only one side of the mouth, or having a decreased appetite. However, the majority of cats do not show any signs of this painful process. Your veterinarian can diagnose the lesions by visual exam, jaw chattering when the tooth is touched, or sometimes only with dental x-rays. Depending on the stage of the lesion, treatment of tooth resorptions is by extraction or removal of the painful lesions, which must be done under general anesthesia.