Tooth resorption in cats - DVM
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Tooth resorption in cats
Evaluation and treatment of these all-too-common oral defects


Research and prevention

Photo 7: Closure of the periodontal flap created to remove tooth 307 (same patient as Photos 5 and 6) using a 5-0 monofilament suture material.
Although causes have not been determined for tooth resorption in general, one study suggests that cats with tooth resorption have significantly higher serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than cats do without tooth resorption.7 These researchers also found that 41 percent of canned cat foods have in excess of 30 times the vitamin D requirements of cats.8 Feeding diets that meet but don't exceed the 250 IU/kg dry weight equivalent may prove to be a key to preventing tooth resorption. It's also generally thought that Type 1 resorption is of inflammatory origin, so good oral hygiene may be key to preventing this form of resorption.


The importance of dental radiography cannot be overstated but neither can the physical observation of the tooth root upon exposure. Consequently, veterinary practices that don't have dental radiography and adequate surgical magnification shouldn't be treating cats with tooth resorption. Either obtaining the proper equipment and training or referring to a specialist are the only feasible options for evaluating and treating these patients. Congratulations if your practice is effectively evaluating and treating these important feline oral defects.

Dr. Beckman is acting president of the American Veterinary Dental Society and owns and operates a companion-animal and referral dentistry and oral surgery practice in Punta Gorda, Fla. He sees referrals at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Orlando and at Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta, lectures internationally and operates the Veterinary Dental Education Center in Punta Gorda.


1. Lund EM, Bohacek LK, Dahlke JL, et al. Prevalence and risk factors for odontoclastic resorptive lesions in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212(3):392-395.

2. Ingham KE, Gorrel C, Blackburn J, et al. Prevalence of odontoclastic resorptive lesions in a population of clinically healthy cats. J Small Anim Pract 2001;42(9):439-443.

3. Pettersson A, Mannerfelt T. Prevalence of dental resorptive lesions in Swedish cats. J Vet Dent 2003;20(3):140-142.

4. Girard N, Servet E, Biourge V, et al. Feline tooth resorption in a colony of 109 cats. J Vet Dent 2008;25(3):166-174.

5. van Wessum R, Harvey CE, Hennet P. Feline dental resorptive lesions. Prevalence patterns. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1992;22(6):1405-1416.

6. Lommer MJ, Verstraete FJ. Prevalence of odontoclastic resorption lesions and periapical radiographic lucencies in cats: 265 cases (1995-1998). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217(12):1866-1869.

7. Reiter AM, Lyon KF, Nachreiner RF. Evaluation of calciotropic hormones in cats with odontoclastic resorptive lesions. Am J Vet Res 2005;66(8):1446-1452.

8. Gawor JP, Reiter AM, Jodkowska K, et al. Influence of diet on oral health in cats and dogs. J Nutr 2006;136(7 Suppl):2021S-2023S.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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