Although “Feline Tooth Resorption Syndrome” (TR) sounds extremely scary and rare, it actually affects up to two thirds of all domestic cats so chances are, if you’ve ever owned a cat before, you may have even had a cat who suffered from this condition at one period of their life.
Which begs the question…
“What is feline tooth resorption syndrome?”
“Should this be something that I need to worry about?”
If you’ve recently been told that your cat is suffering from TR and you’re wondering what to do about it, keep on reading because in this article, we’re going to attempt to answer some of the most frequent questions folks have about this condition as well as give you a basic idea about what it will be like to own a cat while going experiencing TR.
Feline Tooth Resorption Syndrome defined
Scientifically, feline tooth resorption syndrome is a dental disease where the odontoclasts erode the dentin (the hard tissue under the enamel of teeth) found in the tooth structure. Some scientists believe the odontoclasts do this because of inflammation, while others believe there is no cause at all.
We’re not doctors and we’re not necessarily interested in the “mechanics” on how TR occurs we’ll spend the rest of our article focusing on what to look for and how to treat simply because “how” to avoid this condition is still somewhat of a mystery.
Which brings us…
To an important note that we should make which is if you do begin to do a bit more research about TR, you’re going to find that feline tooth resorption syndrome can and will go by a variety of names all of which mean essentially the same thing. Some of the names you may encounter may include:
- Feline oral resorptive lesions (FORL),
- Odontoclastic resorptions,
- Cervical neck lesions,
- External root resorptions,
- Internal root resorptions,
- And cervical line erosions.
Now that’s a mouthful.
Breeds susceptible to TR include…
Purebreds… specifically Persian and Siamese because they may be genetically predisposed to having TR. Although all cat’s breeds are susceptible to TR so even if you just have a regular stay don’t feel like you’re off the hook!
If you want to spare your pet the pain of untreated tooth resorption in the future, here are some symptoms to look out for tooth resorption in cats:
- Any signs your pet is in pain,
- Loss of appetite,
- Chewing on one side of their mouth,
- A build-up of plaque on only one side of their mouth,
- Suggests they only have been chewing on one side.
- Inflamed gums,
- Gingival(gum) tissue growing over the base of the tooth,
- Don’t chew their food, or dry food comes up whole and unchewed when regurgitated,
- Behavioral changes,
- Not wanting to exercise or play.
- Mouth sensitivity,
- Fractured teeth,
- Lost teeth,
- Weight loss,
- Resorptive lesions in gum tissue,
These symptoms can very painful, it is best to get your cat in to the veterinarian ASAP if you suspect he or she may be suffering from a reabsorbed tooth. Clinical signs are difficult to see without a trained eye because the reabsorbed tissue can be obscured by tartar, so you may have to base your suspicions on your cat’s behavior alone.
Usually occurs during an oral examination, dental cleaning or a routine check-up. A veterinarian will then typically take a dental x-ray of your furry friend’s mouth to see the severity of TR and the strength of the tooth. This imaging is what the vet will typically use to decide what treatment is needed and best for your loved one.
The good news is…
There is a treatment for TR, but it is pretty drastic. Sometimes a crown can be used if the root has been reabsorbed, but for almost all cases a complete tooth extraction is needed because the root is still present. This also requires your four-legged family member to be put under anesthesia and after the procedure necessitates pain medications to ease the pain.
The bad news is…
These procedures tend to be pretty expensive and might need to be repeated in the future if your cat develops TR in another tooth later on in their life. The diagnosis alone can also be a bit pricy with the vet visit (~$100) and a dental x-ray that can cost $50 – $100.
And in addition…
The extraction itself can cost anywhere from $500 – $900 including the procedure, anesthetic, and pain medications. That cost is only for one tooth, and cats sometimes have more than one tooth affected with TR.
Which brings us…
To the point of the article where we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet, are not medical professionals and we’re certainly not veterinarians. All we are is a bunch folks who are passionate about animals and want to try to help any pet owner do what’s best for his or her loved one.
So, needless to say…
If your furry buddy does turn out to have TR or any other medical issues, the treatments can become very expensive very quickly. This is why here at IndulgeYourPet we always recommend checking out Pet Insurance to see if it is right for you.
If you are considering adding a new furry member to your family, this way if any unexpected vet bills do “pop-up” you won’t necessarily be on the hook for 100% of those costs on your own!
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “Best” pet insurance policies in the industry, feel free to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.