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Posted on 09-11-2017


A big question we often get here at Phoenix Veterinary Center is if cats can get cavities. Since Dental Month is coming up in October and we are doing a 20% OFF all dental services promotion, we thought now would be the perfect time to discuss this question.

Cat cavities, also known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL), were previously known as feline "neck lesions" or "cervical line lesions." This is due to the fact that the lesions are found close to the “neck” of the tooth or very close to where the tooth meets the gum line. Typically, cat cavities look like the gum is growing over the tooth and can even look as if there is a hole in the tooth.

Because cats are so good at hiding their discomfort and pain, and there is not an exact cause of this issue, it can often be hard to tell when your cat has a “cavity.” A few signs include, increased tartar or saliva production, inflammation and decreased appetite.

The different levels of resorption as such:

Stage 1: Mild dental hard tissue loss of either cementum or/and enamel.

Stage 2: Moderate dental hard tissue loss, with loss of dentin that isn’t extended into the pulp cavity.  

Stage 3: Deep dental hard tissue loss of cementum or/and enamel including  loss of dentin that extends to the pulp cavity. Most of the tooth retains its integrity.

Stage 4: Extensive dental hard tissue loss, at this point most of the tooth has lost its integrity.

Stage 5: Remnants of dental hard tissue are visible. Most of the tooth has been reabsorbed leaving only gum.

Most often the only way to cure a resorption is by extracting the tooth. The best way to know about your cat’s dental health is to monitor it. Daily brushing and gum checks are the easiest way to know if something is off and to address it immediately.

October is Dental Month at Phoenix Veterinary Center, so we encourage you to make an appointment to check your pet’s dental health. Visit us online or call (602) 559-5500 to make your dental appointment.

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