Feline resorptive lesions are a dental issue we commonly see in our feline companions. It is a painful condition that affects over 50% of cats aged over 6 years. It occurs when cells called odontoclasts attack and destroy the external tooth exposing the sensitive structures below-  it is not known why this happens in some cats. Unlike periodontal disease which arises due to decay caused by bacterial infection it is not believed to be associated with diet.

Lesions mostly form on and below the gum line which can make early diagnosis difficult. Multiple teeth are generally affected. Dental x-rays are useful to detect early lesions. The gums may grow over the tooth lesions in an attempt to fill in the lesions, however it is likely that the teeth will still be painful.

Cats are really clever at masking the pain caused by this horrid condition.


Reddened swollen gums particularly at the gum line
Visible signs of tooth decay
Slow eating or reluctance to eat
Teeth chattering, especially after eating or drinking
Aggression or change in behaviour- particularly when mouth area is touched
Missing or broken teeth
Smelly breath
Pawing or rubbing face
Tartar buildup on affected or non affected teeth


Unfortunately there is no way to prevent this disease but maintaining a preventative oral health care routine is very important with every animal. 6 monthly dental checks are very important and will help detect issues early.


The only form of treatment is to remove the affected teeth altogether.

A general anaesthetic is needed for a proper assessment of the teeth/mouth with full mouth dental x-rays to detect lesions and examine tooth roots below the gum line.

Ourimbah Veterinary Hospital offer free dental checks for dogs and cats year round by appointment!

If you have any questions concerns please contact our friendly staff on 4362 1644