Friday, February 12, 2016

Whats Wrong With My Cats Mouth?

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Sleuth, the VNN Reporter Dog

Sleuth the Reporter Dog makes sure to have his teeth brushed every day.  Unfortunately, some of Sleuth’s feline friends have a very painful condition that makes chewing, or even touching their teeth extremely uncomfortable.  Here’s what Sleuth found out about Feline Tooth Resorption.

1)    Cats are pretty good at hiding their pain and their illnesses.  While this might be something to admire, it does make it more difficult for owners to know when their pet needs to see the veterinarian.

2)    One very serious condition can occur in our cat’s mouths which will lead to excruciating pain and possibly even a lack of desire to eat.  This is called Tooth Resorption, or “TR” for short.

3)    No one knows exactly why cats will develop this disease.  Some experts blame viruses, others chronic vomiting and still others look to the food.  We do know that this is a disease cats have had for hundreds of years.

4)    Anywhere from 30-70% of cats over the age of six will develop TR.  The teeth start to dissolve, either on the crown or on the root, become brittle and possibly even break at the gum line.

5)    The only way we can diagnose TR is by doing dental x-rays.  By looking at the x-rays, our veterinarians can see changes that indicate this disease is present.  In some cases, what appears to be a missing tooth is actually a tooth with the crown dissolved but the root intact!

6)    The unfortunate thing is that there is no good treatment for TR that will save the teeth.  Once a tooth develops this condition, the best thing to do is to extract the tooth and remove the painful stimulus.  In some cases, almost all of our cat’s teeth will need to be extracted in order to stop the pain!

7)    The good news is that once the extractions are done and healed, most cats will return to a very affectionate state.

8)    Ask us about a complete oral health assessment for your cat, including dental x-rays to look for TR.  We want to work with you to keep your feline friend comfortable and healthy!

9)    Sites like can provide you with accurate and unbiased pet health information.