Troubled by Tooth Resorption

Learn more about this painful feline dental condition.

By Helen Jablonski

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CATFANCY

You might be familiar with plaque and periodontal disease, but have you heard of tooth resorption? It's the second most common dental disease in cats and the No. 1 cause of tooth loss. Experts estimate that 50 to 75 percent of all cats will experience tooth resorption.

So what exactly is it? Although resorptive lesions are often called cat cavities, this is not an accurate definition. Cavities, which are uncommon in cats, occur when bacteria and acids from food decay the outer enamel of a tooth. Tooth resorption is a degeneration which starts at or below the gumline and eventually destroys the tooth structure.

Teeth stop growing once a cat reaches adult size. Bone, however, is living tissue which is constantly broken down and regrown. With tooth resorption, the body seems to have trouble recognizing where the bone ends and the tooth starts.

**Get the February 2012 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**

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