Tooth resorption in cats – Symptoms and Treatment

Dental resorption, formerly called FORL (Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions), is a common dental disease in cats and affects up to one-third of all domestic cats.

The cat’s teeth slowly break down and eventually need to be pulled out so that the cat does not hurt.

Tooth resorption – cause

It is currently unclear what causes tooth resorption (TR) in cats, even though the disease was described about a hundred years ago. TR is well documented in domestic cats, but researchers believe the disease is also found in wild cats.

There are many theories about what causes tooth resorption.

Possible causes of tooth resorption

  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Diet
  • tartar

Symptoms of tooth resorption

Tooth resorption can be very painful for the cat. It is also difficult to detect as the cat often needs to be anesthetized or x-rayed to detect TR. The disease comes sneaking and eventually holes in the tooth, which increases the pain of the cat.

The cat often tries to avoid eating hard or cold foods because it is difficult to chew and can be very painful. It is obvious that it is painful for the cat because the affected often do not like to be patted around the mouth.

Common characteristics of tooth resorption

  • Lose appetite and eat less than usual
  • Has an inflamed tooth or tartar
  • Drooling
  • Has visibly damaged teeth

Then tooth resorption is treated

Since tooth resorption is painful for the cat, it is important to contact the veterinarian in case of suspicion. The most common treatment at TR is to remove the damaged teeth.

Sometimes the tooth can be treated, but it has not proven to be a long-term solution.

After the treatment

A cat that gets some or all of its teeth pulled out often feels much better afterwards. The cat may need a softer food if there are no teeth to chew with. However, sometimes it works well to eat dry food if the cat can handle it.

Despite tooth resorption, the cat can live a low and good life without missing its extracted teeth.

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