Reggie is an 8 year old domestic short haired cat who regularly visits the Reservoir Vet Clinic. During each check up our veterinarian examines her teeth for any dental disease and grades her teeth depending on how much tartar and plaque is present.
Reggie had a dental clean in 2007 and at her last check up in early 2009 our veterinarian found that there had been a gradual build up of tartar and plaque. It was decided that since her dental grade was now 1.5/4 that she should have another dental clean to prevent any further damage to her teeth. Signs of dental disease are bad breath, discoloured teeth, loose teeth, excessive drooling, inflamed gums, dropping of food from the mouth when eating, pain when handled around the head, facial swelling and behavioural changes (e.g. lethargy, increased aggression.)
Unfortunately Reggie had a CNL (central neck lesion) on one of her molars. A central neck lesion is a cavity in the tooth, often located at the gum line. These cavities expose the nerves of the tooth which causes pain in the patient. Some signs to look out for are;
- Pain or resenting oral examination
- Chattering especially after eating or drinking
- Pinkish dis-colouration to the tooth (in advanced lesions)
- Heavy tartar burden on one side of the mouth as the cat is avoiding pain by not using the affected teeth.
The only effective treatment for resorptive lesions is extraction of the affected tooth as the lesions are always progressive and often lead to tooth fracture. Dr Andrea removed the diseased tooth as well as cleaning and polishing the rest of her teeth. Nurse Sommer monitored her anaesthetic by checking Reggies blood pressure and her vital signs.
Reggie recovered well from her surgery and was nearly back to her normal self the following day. Now that Reggie's teeth are nice and clean her owner is feeding her Hills T/D to try to encourage her to chew more and try to prevent any tartar and plaque build up.