Regular Dental care is important!

DENTAL CARE SHOULD BE A PART OF EVERY HORSE’S REGULAR HEALTH MAINTENANCE ROUTINE REGARDLESS OF HIS AGE OR APPEARANCE


Many horses go through life without any major dental issues.  I have heard over and over in passing that owners “know” their horses do not need their mouths examined or floated because they :

a) aren’t dropping any feed,  

b) are fat, 

c) are showing no signs of discomfort, or d) do not misbehave while being ridden.


That being said, though, many of the worst dental conditions are discovered in stoic horses in good weight showing no clinical signs of tooth-related issues.  Common sense tells us that a thin horse must have a problem with its teeth, but this is not often the case.  This train of thought may be unreliable, as many other conditions besides dental issues may contribute to weight loss.  Such issues may include lack of appropriate nutrition, not ingesting enough food (being bullied away from food by another horse), parasites, endocrine disease, behavioral problems (nervousness), etc. The list goes on and on!

TYPES OF ISSUES WHICH MAY BE FOUND DURING A THOROUGH DENTAL EXAMINATION:

Facial swelling, asymmetry

Mouth sores, ulcers

Bit sores, bruising, trauma inside the mouth

Tongue lacerations

Nerve damage, facial paralysis

Sharp enamel points - outside of upper cheek teeth, inside of lower cheek teeth

Retained incisor caps

Retained premolar caps

Missing  or malformed incisors

Extra  (i.e.“supernumerary”) incisors

Traumatic injury to incisors

Wolf Teeth

Malocclusions due to uneven tooth wear

Hooks, ramps, wave mouths, step mouths

Overgrown incisors

Fractured teeth

Loose teeth

Extra teeth

Tooth root abscesses

Tooth decay

Fractures of the jaw

Physical deformities (congenital/inherited abnormalities) such as overshot jaw, parrot mouth, undershot jaw, sow mouth, wry nose

Foreign bodies lodged in the mouth

Tumors

Problems with mucous membrane color - jaundice, anemia, dehydration, septicemia

Learn more about dental issues