Resorptive Lesions or tooth resorption is a common medical condition that affects 20-60 percent of cats and three out of four over the age of five years. Though the cause of this condition is unknown, there are some treatment options available to save the felines from the pain and discomfort involved.
In this guide, let us take a closer look at resorptive lesions in cats and try to learn more about the symptoms and treatment.
Resorptive Lesions In Cats – A Complete Guide
Resorptive lesions is a dental problem that is affecting the cat population badly and is highly under-treated. The painful tooth condition often goes unnoticed until it turns into a serious issue. As cat owners fail to understand the symptoms, the pets don’t always receive prompt treatment.
Let us try to understand what resorptive lesions actually are. Each tooth of the feline contains tissue surrounded by a substance called dentin that forms much of the tooth structure. When this dentin in any tooth starts eroding to become completely destroyed. As the condition progresses, all the areas of the affected tooth get involved.
The erosion generally starts in the tooth enamel along the gum line and proceeds towards the center. The tooth eventually goes and a raised bump is left on the gum. Tooth resorption sometimes causes an appearance of a hole in the tooth that resembles cavities. However, they are caused by bodily processes and not bacteria.
Cat Tooth Resorption Untreated? Is it Safe?
As it is difficult to notice the early signs of tooth resorption in cats, the condition goes untreated for a long time. It affects the crown of the tooth to expose the nerve and dentin, resulting in pain and inflammation. If cat tooth resorption is left untreated for a period of time, the crown can break and cause tooth loss.
Feline tooth resorption lesions are one of the top causes of tooth loss in cats. If left untreated, this disease can result in other oral problems, pain, infections and problems in other parts of the body. The first stage of this condition shows a defect in the enamel of a tooth while the second stage damages the enamel and dentin. The later stages involve affecting the crown or even roots of the tooth, ultimately destroying the entire tooth.
This condition can be highly painful to cats. It can show signs like reduced appetite, difficulty chewing, bad breath, inflammation of gums, drooling, vomiting and oral bleeding. Early detection is really important when treating tooth resorption. Taking the cat for a regular oral checkup can help you detect and treat it on time to prevent further implications. If left untreated, this disease can become threatening. It is not safe to ignore any symptoms of resorptive lesions in cats and should be reported to the vet at the earliest.
Resorptive Lesions Cats Symptoms
Resorptive lesions are a highly painful condition but cats are likely to hide pain as their natural instinct. So the feline doesn’t cry until it is very ill or nearing death. This is why cat owners should keep a watch on the cat’s behavior and look for signs and symptoms of resorptive lesions.
To find out whether the cat is suffering from resorptive lesions, pay attention to it when it eats. See if the cat seems to chew slowly, drop out food from the mouth or turn the head to the side. As the cat starts eating little, it also shows weight loss.
If you note any sudden change in the cat’s behavior, it can indicate pain. Your feline may no longer behave friendly and refuse to sleep with you. It may also stop playing with its favorite toy and other activities that it used to find funny. If your cat shows any strange behavior, you should take it to the vet for a regular checkup.
Bleeding and Oral Problems
Most cats would not let you look into the mouth because of pain. However, if you can manage to take a look into the cat’s mouth, you can notice blood along the gum line. It also shows increased salivation, difficulty eating and other dental issues. You will see your cat drooling more than ever, even when it is not eating. You are unlikely to notice the condition in the mouth until it gets severe. When visible, they take the form of a small hole or a dark stain in the tooth.
Cat Tooth Resorption Treatment Cost
If the tooth resorption is diagnosed in the initial stages, it may not require treatment. However, it is better to extract the tooth as a preventative measure than trying to fix the issue after it gets severe. If the resorption is completed, there is no need for extraction though other problems occurring from tooth resorption may require treatment.
Tooth extraction is the only available treatment method to combat the painful symptoms arising from tooth resorption. The cost of the extraction depends on the affected tooth and the extent to which it is affected. For example, teeth are harder to extract than molars, premolars and incisors and cost more to get removed.
If tooth resorption in your cat requires extraction, you can expect to spend $300 to $500 per tooth in addition to x-rays and anesthesia that can add anywhere between $300 and $400 to the expense. If the root is reabsorbed, crown reduction treatment is recommended and the cost would be lower. You also spend on pain-relieving medicines. Most felines have multiple affected teeth and the treatment can often go up to thousands.