Friday, December 18, 2015

Canines and Cavities

This week I took my 11 year old kitty to the vet because her breath was becoming foul and I figured it was time for a check up and cleaning. I put her on the exam table and after a few seconds of examining her mouth my vet simply stated that yes, she needed a cleaning and at least one tooth extracted. I am always curious about animal health and eager to learn so I asked how he could possibly tell she needed an extraction in such a brief glance of her mouth? He told me she has a 'resorptive lesion' on an upper tooth and that meant it would need to be removed, so of course I wanted to see what he saw so he opened her mouth and pointed out the tooth in question and right away I saw it, a dark red spot on the bottom of her tooth that started at the gum line. Once I knew what it was I understood how he found it so quickly and next week she is going in for a cleaning and removal.
Thanks to the internet I have done some more research and have found that, although quite common in cats, resorptive lesions can also be found in canines as well. There isn't really a clear answer as to why these happen, some say it's genetic, others say bacteria, and others say diet so I'm thinking it can be a mix of all of the above. Symptoms of these lesions include inflammation, tooth decay, destruction of tooth enamel, pain and tooth loss.
Here are some pictures of resorptive lesions so you have an idea of what to look for:
                                 The picture above is of a resorptive lesion in a canine's mouth.

                               The picture above is of a resorptive lesion in a feline's mouth.

Dental health is an important part in your pet's life so be sure to have their teeth examined and cleaned on a regular basis. If you see any odd markings, colors, or spots on your pets teeth be sure to consult your veterinarian. Bad breath can also be a sign of an oral health issue so don't be shy about asking your vet questions if you have any concerns.