What Should You Know About Tooth Enamel Malformation In Cats?


When the tooth enamel or the outer coating of the tooth gets to develop in a normal manner, it will have a smooth and white appearance. However, various abnormal physical or environmental conditions may obstruct the tooth enamels malformation, thus causing it to take pitted, discolored, unusual appearance. In this article, we will be discussing what the tooth enamel malformation in cats is. What causes it, its symptoms, prognosis, and treatment –we will be discussing all of them here. So if you want to know more about this feline condition, feel free to give this article a read.

Tooth Enamel Malformation in Cats: What is this feline condition?

The enamel malformation in cats may expose the yellow-colored dentin underneath the teeth. Further, the dentin is what protects the nerve fibers of the tooth. Thus, when exposed, the teeth of the cat become sensitive to cold and heat, in addition to the development of an increase in the risk of fracture, abscesses, and bacterial infection. Moreover, cats which are diagnosed with this feline condition might have a lifetime risk of developing periodontal disease as well, specifically when left without any treatments.

Furthermore, the enamel malformation or dysplasia in cats is a feline oral condition, wherein the tooth enamel doesn’t form in a normal manner. Additionally, this condition may sometimes be isolated to just one tooth, yet commonly affects numerous teeth. Though the enamel of the cat is thin, in comparison to humans, the enamel is still what protects the teeth and prevents any bacteria from penetrating the pulp and dentin.

Causes of Tooth Enamel Malformation in Felines   

The enamel malformation in cats may commonly become evident in case the cat is still a kitten, while the adult teeth are still forming. In case the cat has suffered from a serious illness in the course of time, just like high fever, the tooth enamel will not form in a normal manner. This will now be called the enamel hypoplasia.

There are several other causes of the tooth enamel malformation in cats, including:

  • Trauma of the mouth
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Exposure to certain toxins or drugs
  • Genetic defect

Symptoms of Tooth Enamel malformation in Cats

Though tooth enamel malformation in cats isn’t really a serious condition, it may cause some serious dental issues when left without any treatments. Complete daily oral care is domineering for the early detection of the disease. Consult a veterinarian if you happen to notice any of the symptoms below:

  • Pulp inflammation when left without treatments
  • Pain while drinking water
  • Pain during eating because of sensitivity
  • Tooth fracture
  • Exposed yellow-brown or yellow dentin

Prognosis of Tooth Enamel Malformation in Felines

The prognosis of the tooth enamel malformation in felines or hypoplasia may need an x-ray image, as well as a complete examination of the mouth of the cat. In the course of this time, the cat might be put under general anesthesia. Nonetheless, this process might only go so far in helping with the diagnosis of the condition, since the veterinarian will not be able to determine whether the tooth pulp is still alive or not, until the treatment is already started.

Moreover, the cat may ask regarding the nutritional and dental history of the cat, specifically throughout its kittenhood –together with all the possible symptoms perceived. Always try to be as informative as possible, even though you did not own the cat when it was still a kitten.

Treatments for Tooth Enamel Malformation in Felines

The treatment for tooth enamel malformation in cats may depend on the austerity of the condition itself, as well as whether or not it’s affected the tooth pulp. In case the pulp is still thriving, the treatment might be lesser invasive.

Root Canal Treatment or Extraction

Amongst these processes might be done when the pulp has already died or in case the tooth is vulnerable to disease or fracture. The extractions or root canals may often be agonizing for cats, and may need anesthesia tailed by a further lengthy reclamation. 

Composite Restoration

In case the cat cannot endure three rounds of general anesthesia, a thorough restoration might be the suggested treatment course. This merely involves the application of composite resin into the tooth to cap the dentin. Further, this may restore the tooth’s natural look. Nonetheless, in case there’s a bacterial infection existent, the composite restoration may not treat the causal problem.

Crown Restoration

This course of treatment may need general anesthesia, and may be done in case the pulp has stayed unaffected. Just like the restoration of the human crown, a restoration of a cat’s crown may comprise two appointments. Throughout the first appointment, the vet might make an impression about the tooth that will then be directed to a lab to create a crown that will cover the tooth. Additionally, this crown might be ceramic or metal, yet may commonly be metal, since ceramic crowns actually have a higher risk of breaking.


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