A closer look: Oral Resorptive Lesions in Dogs
Oral resorptive lesions are uncommon in dogs and very common in cats; data from reporting in cats is presumed to apply to dogs. Since the cause of this disease process is not well understood, it is difficult to identify preventive measures.
Connect with a vet to get more information
Oral resorptive lesions are uncommon in dogs. Before lesions reach the inner layers of a tooth, they are asymptomatic, but later-stage lesions are painful and require veterinary intervention. As a progressive disease, these lesions will not improve without treatment. There is also the potential for these lesions to become infected. Oral resorptive lesions are not life-threatening. In extreme cases, loss of appetite may be seen.
The cause of odontoclastic resorption in dogs and cats is not known. In cats, growing evidence suggests that these lesions do occur even in the absence of gingival or periodontal inflammation, so it seems likely that dental disease is not the culprit.
In most cases, tooth resorption does not have outward signs until the erosion extends into the pulp cavity.
Testing and diagnosis
Most of the time, oral resorptive lesions are not diagnosed clinically, but rather by X-rays during an unrelated dental procedure under general anesthesia.
Steps to Recovery
The goal of treatment is to relieve pain or discomfort. One option is to leave the tooth and monitor for progression of the lesion. Another option is root canal therapy. Root canal is rarely indicated because the lesion may still progress. If the tooth roots are not yet resorbed, extraction of the entire affected tooth may be the best course of action. In cases where the tooth root is resorbed, amputation of the crown of the tooth only may be sufficient. Crown amputation may require regular X-rays to ensure the root is resorbing.
Prognosis with extraction and crown amputation is good, but guarded in the case of root canal therapy.
Prognosis with appropriate treatment and monitoring is good. Current data suggests that where one tooth is affected, other teeth are likely to become affected as well. Lifelong diligent monitoring is required once resorptive lesions are identified.
The cause is unknown, so no prevention is possible. Prognosis is not improved by conscientious dental hygiene. It is recommended that teeth are examined annually, including X-rays, to catch potential lesions early. There is no data to suggest that the condition is contagious.
Are Oral Resorptive Lesions in Dogs common?
Oral resorptive lesions are uncommon in dogs.
- Conservative (monitoring of tooth)
- Tooth extraction
- Root canal therapy
- Crown amputation
- Pain management