resorption of teeth in cat

cheryl_pAugust 23, 2010

My just barely 3 yo cat was found to have a blood spot on her gum right below the tooth/gum line. Doc thinks it might be a disease called feline resorptive disease where the tooth gets infected and very painfully get reabsorbed (actually disappears I guess!). Only treatment I understand is tooth extraction. Has anyone experience with this? Thank you.

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My just barely one year old cat recently had the same thing happen. One of his teeth actually died, and the gum and bone surrounding it became badly infected. The tooth was so loose when I got him to the vet that the vet was able to pull it out without sedation and without complaint on the part of the cat.

Within a week of my youngster losing his tooth, one of my older cats developed a nasty dental infection and lost his only remaining lower canine tooth. He had lost the other lower canine last Dec. I took him to a vet who specializes in dental surgery for a complete dental, only to discover that he had resorbed almost all of his teeth. The vet removed the roots that for some reason didn't resorb from the two missing canines, then extracted two other infected teeth. Now the only teeth he has left in his mouth are his upper and lower front incisors, the two upper canines, one additional tooth in the lower jaw, and three additional teeth in the upper jaw. I expect within the next couple of years, he'll resorb the rest of them and be completely toothless.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 10:20PM
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I'm by no means an expert, but my understanding of this is that when kittens are babies, they have function specific cells that "turn on" and help dissolve/absorb away baby teeth when the adult teeth are coming in. Those cells are then suppose to "turn off" forever and never function again. For some reason they either don't turn off, or they get reactivated later in life and begin to act on the existing adult teeth.

My old girl had just about all her teeth pulled 2 years ago because of this. The few teeth she has left don't look great at this point, but I don't think I would be comfortable with anesthetizing her again to remove the few she has left (she's got major health problems). I am very glad we had the bad teeth removed when we did, it definitely improved her quality of life.

My young cat has chronic gingivitis that we are fighting and I worry that it will turn into this. I am doing my best to take care of him and maintain his dental health, but in the end there may be nothing we can do but extract.

I did read somewhere that some holistic vets believe that once you remove bad teeth and clean the tarter away, that adding vitamin C to the diet can help prevent further problems. I'm not sure if there's any truth to it, but it might be worth looking into.

Good luck with your kitty.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:06AM
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As a vet, I deal with this all the time. If you can brush your cat's teeth, you may be able to prevent future extractions, but not always. Some cats just have a bad problem with resorptive lesions; others don't. But once there is root exposure, the only course of action is to remove the teeth.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:12PM
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