Tricky Teeth! - Mill Road Vet Clinic Whangarei > News & Stories

Latest News

Tricky Teeth!

Tricky Teeth!

Tooth Resorption in Cats

Chances are, if your Veterinarian has recommended that your cat have one or more teeth removed, it is due to tooth resorption.

Resorption means the breakdown and absorption of a tissue, and when teeth are concerned, this is usually done by specific cells called odontoclasts (a type of osteoclast).  This is a normal process when it involves the baby teeth, as they must undergo resorption in order for the adult teeth to erupt (come through the gum) normally. 

Adult tooth roots are not supposed to undergo resorption as baby teeth do.  For reasons that are currently poorly understood, adult cats teeth often undergo resorption.  When this happens in the roots above the gum line it becomes contaminated with bacteria from the mouth. This becomes inflamed and very painful.   In all cases of tooth resorption in cats, the only rational treatment is extraction of the affected teeth as there is no way to repair the damage or halt the progression.  Cats that have one tooth affected by tooth resorption will often develop more in the future;  This is why we recommend regular dental checks at least 6-monthly after a dental procedure.  There is no way to prevent these lesions, only to monitor for them and remove the affected teeth once it happens, as they are very painful. 

 If you have noticed lesions on your cat’s teeth similar to the ones pictured, or you are worried about your cat’s teeth, please get in touch with us! Smelly breath, salivation, lethargy and cats going off their food are all a sign of a painful mouth.

Our Vets can give your treasured friend a check-up and discuss all that is involved regarding the dental procedure.


The lesions often look like this.  This is a lower premolar in a cat that has tooth resorption.  Note the appearance of “climbing gum” where the gum seems to be growing up the tooth.  These areas are very painful and sensitive to touch and the cat may sometimes “chatter” their teeth when eating due to the sensitivity.


This is an x-ray of the same tooth.  Note the large areas in the tooth that have been “eaten away”.

If you would like one of our vets to take a look at your cat's teeth, call us at the Mill Road Clinic on 094371101.


Post a Comment

  • Stress in Exotic animals

    Dr Kevin Turner, our exotics vets talks us through how to avoid stress in a variety of species.
  • Tricky Teeth!

    One of our dental vets, Michelle, talks us through a common tooth problem for cats.
  • Google Gone Wrong

    Our vet, Elaine, gives us an example of how 'Dr Google' is not always the best practicioner to treat your pet's health.
  • Read Our Christmas Newsletter here

    Christmas hours and our advice for the holidays. Has your furry family member got a present under the tree yet?
  • What Happens When Your Dog Gets Spayed?

    When you bring your dog in first thing in the morning a vet will do a full clinical examination to ensure that she is fit and healthy for an anaesthetic, make sure she is not coming on heat and check ...
  • Attention all “unusual pet” owners!!

    Kevin Turner, former owner of the Exotic Pet Referral Centre in Auckland has joined Mill Road. Kevin is experienced in treating birds, rabbits and other small mammals and reptiles.
  • “Mouse” Poot

    This story is dear to our hearts: Mouse belonged to vets & practice owners Didier & Julie.
  • Beautiful “Blondie” – A cat with Chronic Kidney Disease

    Blondie is a beautiful, sleek black nineteen and a half year old cat. We have known her at the Mill Road Vet Clinic since she was a kitten and have come to love her almost as much as her owners! Blo...

  • A heartfelt thank you to everyone for the care, help and compassion shown.

  • Just wanted to say a very heart-felt thank you for literally saving Bosca’s life.

  • Knowing our pets have always been in such a kind and caring environment, with such wonderful, capable people means so much.

  • You are a one in a million veterinary team!

  • You guys are super heroes!

  • You have made a stressful situation so much easier to deal with, with your friendliness and professional approach.