Cats are so amazing and capable of hiding when they are having trouble that they often get the short end of the stick when it comes to proactive care. One area that many of our feline patients need our help in is the department of dental care.
The staff at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital sees quite a bit of dental disease in all of our four-legged patients. In cats, not only is periodontal disease a big issue, but there is also another beast to contend with. Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions, not so fondly also referred to as FORLs, affect a large number of our cat patients and are something all cat owners should understand.
Understanding Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions
The term feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions is quite the mouthful, and they can be for our cat patients as well. We don’t really understand at this time what causes some cats to be affected by this disease process, but over half of our cat patients over the age of six have them.
FORLs are essentially holes that form in the tooth as a result of the activity of the odontoblasts within the tooth itself. These holes typically form near the gum line and are analogous to the cavities that people suffer, however they have nothing to do with plaque buildup.
We do know that FORLs affect cats tremendously. These sinister little holes can be exquisitely painful. Exposure of the tooth’s pulp cavity can also result in infection. If the hole becomes extensive enough, the crown of the tooth can even break off, leaving roots under the gum line that may result in problems.
Not all cats let us know that they are suffering from FORLs. It is a good idea to make an appointment for us to examine your pet, though, if you notice that your cat is:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Reluctant to allow you to look at the teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Hesitant to eat
- Having bad breath
Fighting the Good Fight
Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions can be frustrating for cat owners as well as veterinarians because we don’t really understand at this time how to prevent or stop them. What we can, do, however, is be proactive about looking for them and aggressive when we find them.
Routine oral examinations are an important part of wellness care for any pet, but especially cats. Frequent anesthetized oral evaluations and dental radiographs are important for us to find these painful lesions early. Many times in the early stages it is impossible to identify these without dental x-ray.
Diagnosis And Treatment
When we find FORLs, the exact type of lesion is identified in order to decide how to best proceed. Class I and II FORLs tend to be early in the course of the disease and may be treated with cleaning and/or enamel restoration techniques.
Class III lesions enter the pulp cavity, while Class IV lesions involve broken roots retained under the gum line. These types of FORLs typically require tooth extraction as they are quite painful. Many cats who suffer from FORL lesions will have all or most of the teeth affected at some point. Although most of these pets lose lots of teeth, they are perfectly functional (and much more comfortable) without them.
Until science and veterinary medicine understand more about this disease process, it remains important for us to work as a team to be sure that our cats are happy and pain free. By bringing your pet in to see us for wellness visits and allowing routine oral examinations as recommended, you can do your part in battling FORLs.
Bad breath is so common in pets that most of us accept it as a normal part of life. In reality, halitosis in pets is not normal and that doggy or kitty breath you’ve come to expect may be signaling the onset of periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease in pets is a serious issue that affects up to 85% of all dogs and cats by the time they reach 3 years of age. Fortunately, it’s never too late to take charge of your pet’s dental health! Your team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is here for you every step of the way.
Many of us know regular dental cleanings are beneficial to our pets. With over 85% of pets over the age of 3 affected by some form of dental disease, people are becoming more aware of this common but preventable problem. If your pet gets regular dental cleanings, you’ve probably noticed cleaner teeth, fresher breath, and decreased redness around your pet’s gum line. While the results of dental cleanings are great, have you ever wondered what happens during a cleaning? We thought you might!
The mighty mouth is something we take for granted with our pets. It does its purpose, after all. But did you know there are many aspects of overall health that are directly related to good dental health? That’s right! From heart health to preventing kidney disease, the mouth plays a key role in your pet’s wellness and longevity, not to mention quality of life.
Most pet owners, however, don’t often ask questions about pet dental health, which can sometimes be a disservice to their furry loved one. In an attempt to shine a light on dental care, Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital offers a few pet dental questions every responsible pet owner should ask.
While you may be accustomed to heading into your dentist’s office and saying “Ahhhh” for the procedure, in the veterinary world dental anesthesia for pets is the standard of care. Learn why your trusted team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital thinks dental anesthesia for pets is essential and what we are doing to make it safer than ever.
Despite the fact that most of us tend to our oral hygiene daily and see our dentist for cleanings and exams, not much thought is given to dental care for our pets. The idea of brushing a dog or cat’s teeth may seem daunting to many of us, but neglecting our pets’ oral health can lead to serious consequences down the line.
Professional dental care is an essential step in your furry loved one’s wellness plan. Your team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital wants to make sure you know what is involved in a pet dental exam and why it is so important for your pet’s health.
These days, dogs and cats have it pretty good! Most are considered members of the family, and we do our best to keep them healthy and provide them with a wonderful life. Quality nutrition, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and, of course, snuggles are the norm when it comes to taking care of modern pets. But what about dental care?
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, over 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will have gum disease by the time they’re three years old. Untreated dental disease is not only painful for pets, but it can also be a source of serious health problems down the road. That’s why regular pet teeth cleanings are the cornerstone of good oral hygiene.
Most pet owners don’t relish the thought of brushing their pets’ teeth, but neglecting dental health can cost both you and your furry loved one. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a wide variety of serious health consequences for your pet, and may even shorten his or her lifespan.
Keeping up with your home dental care, and making sure your pet gets a professional dental examination and cleaning as recommended by your veterinarian, can reduce bad breath and keep your pet healthy well into old age.
If you’re a newbie when it comes to pet dental health care, the team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is here to help!
Dental Care is one of the most important parts of maintaining your pet’s health. Many pets never receive the dental care they need because of misinformation or a lack of understanding about the facts.
Dental disease is the most common, most preventable, and most treatable problem of dogs and cats. There are many concerns regarding pet dental treatments and whether or not a pet truly needs a professional dental cleaning. Here are some of the most common fallacies and facts about Pet Dental Care. Continue…
by Dr. Schock
Dogs and cats do not floss. They do not brush their teeth. They cannot politely open their mouths for a hygienist to take X-rays, and they will not spit in a tiny sink while having their teeth cleaned.
Our pets need advocates. When one of our veterinarians says, “Your pet’s teeth need to be cleaned”- it’s not because we want the teeth to be “pretty”. Pet dental care is not a luxury procedure. It is a treatment to treat and prevent infection. Continue…