Cat tooth resorption, also known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs), is a common dental disease in cats that affects approximately 50% of cats over the age of five. This condition causes the teeth to slowly erode and become painful, leading to discomfort and difficulties eating or drinking.
There are various ways to manage the pain associated with cat tooth resorption. The first step is to identify the affected teeth and remove them if necessary. This can be done by a veterinarian under anesthesia. In some cases, the affected tooth may be able to be saved by removing the diseased portion and filling the cavity with a dental composite. This approach can help alleviate pain and discomfort in the affected tooth.
Pain management for cat tooth resorption may also involve the use of medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as meloxicam, carprofen, or firocoxib can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation associated with the disease. These medications are usually prescribed by a veterinarian and require careful monitoring to avoid potential side effects.
In addition to medications, some cats may benefit from a change in diet. Soft, wet foods can be easier for cats with tooth resorption to eat, and feeding smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce the discomfort associated with chewing. Some cats may also benefit from dental chews or toys that help to clean the teeth and massage the gums.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help manage the pain associated with cat tooth resorption. These visits allow the veterinarian to identify any new lesions or other dental issues and address them before they become more severe. Routine dental cleanings can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can contribute to the progression of tooth resorption.
In conclusion, cat tooth resorption is a painful condition that can be managed through a combination of treatments including tooth extraction, composite fillings, medications, diet changes, and routine dental cleanings. It is important for cat owners to work closely with their veterinarian to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the individual needs of their pet. With proper care and management, cats with tooth resorption can live comfortably and maintain good oral health.