The Case of the Disappearing Teeth

Did you know that cats can “resorb” their teeth? I sure didn’t. It wasn’t until one of the techs at our clinic told me. I was amazed!

All cats are prone to a disease called “tooth resorption.” Tooth resorption occurs when the tooth is exposed to cells called odontoclasts. The odontoclast cells can develop from oral lesions; however, the exact cause is unknown. These lesions can be hidden under the gum line or in areas that are not readily visible to the naked eye.

The whole process starts with the deterioration the tooth enamel, through the dentin and finally, leaving the pulp cavity. Unfortunately for your pet, the pulp cavity contains nerves and blood vessels of the tooth. When it’s left exposed it can be very painful.

There’s no cure for tooth resorption. The affected tooth may be extracted, and x-rays will be taken to ensure no other teeth are affected. Since the cause is not certain, preventative maintenance should be added to your routine. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully and schedule regular visits.

For more information on oral resorptive lesions, you may review this article called Focus On: Dental Resorptive Lesions in Dogs

Written By: Melanie Hamilton, Customer Care Representative