Equine Dental Care
Providing Dental Care
Keeping Your Horse’s Teeth Healthy with Equine Dentistry
As a responsible horse owner, maintaining your equine companions’ health care should be a priority. While regular grooming, exercise, and a balanced diet are essential components of horse care, one aspect is often overlooked – dental health. Like humans, horses require regular dental check-ups to ensure their health and comfort. Equine dental services play a vital role in safeguarding your horse’s dental health, which can contribute significantly to their overall vitality.
Horses can live well into their thirties with proper care. However, their teeth typically last until their twenties when they require extraordinary care. High Caliber Performance is experienced with equine dental care that includes floating and extracting teeth. Annual or semiannual dental care can prevent premature tooth decay in horses, ensuring they live better, longer lives. If your horse cannot properly chew and digest food, it can lead to serious digestive problems which can lead to weight loss and even colic.
A Lesson Regarding Your Horse’s Teeth
Unlike humans, horses’ teeth continually erupt, or grow. What this means is that 20 or more years of tooth is present at birth. This type of tooth is called a hypsodont, which means that as they chew and grind, the teeth wear along a surface that requires annual evaluation and intervention by your veterinarian.
Horse teeth are a fascinating creation, consisting of vertical “columns” of three distinct materials, with only a lone column made of enamel. The other two materials, namely cementum and dentin, are comparatively softer. This unique configuration causes the horse’s teeth to slowly wear away as they grind their coarse diet of plant roughage. Initially, it is perfectly normal that the tooth decays as a fresh tooth crown will grow in its place at an impressive rate of 3-4mm annually. Astonishingly, a horse’s permanent teeth can stretch up to four inches long!
The Mature Horse’s Mouth Makeup
Around age 5, a horse should have shed his last deciduous teeth, and all the permanent teeth, between 36-44, should be in place. These teeth are responsible for nipping, tearing, and grinding foliage to give your equine friend the nutrition it needs. The front teeth comprise six upper and six lower incisors, while the cheek teeth are tightly packed together to create a single, long chewing surface. A horse’s mouth is a highly specialized and finely tuned grinding machine designed perfectly for its intended purpose.
Common Equine Dental Issues
Sharp Points: Over time, sharp points can develop on a horse’s teeth, causing discomfort and difficulty chewing.
Wolf Teeth: These small, often problematic teeth can interfere with a bit and cause pain or discomfort while riding
Malocclusions: These are misaligned teeth or abnormal dental growth patterns that are usually detected early in life. If it is corrected when found, then it will not turn into a more severe problem.
>Periodontal Disease: This disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in horses. Yet, if a vet sees the horse in time, it can be diagnosed and treated, and in most cases, the vet can prevent periodontal disease.
Importance of Equine Dental Check-Ups
Horses eat a lot, up to 18 hours a day! Many horses will continue to eat even if their teeth are causing discomfort, making it hard for you to realize they need a vet to examine their teeth. Most owners only notice problems with their horses once they become severe. Beyond just discomfort, there are other reasons your horse needs routine exams, including:
Prevent Dental Issues: Routine dental check-ups allow veterinarians to detect and address potential problems before they become more serious.
Improves Behavior Problems: Dental discomfort can lead to numerous behavioral problems, such as head tossing, resisting the bit, or even bucking. These behaviors can make riding your horse more challenging and, in some cases, dangerous.
Aids in Proper Digestion: If dental problems go unchecked, it can be challenging for your horse to chew, leading to malnutrition, and decreased overall health.
Enhances Performance: Dental health is linked to performance for those who engage in equestrian sports. A horse with dental problems may struggle to respond to cues or perform their best. Routine dental check-ups can help your horse’s peak performance by ensuring its mouth is comfortable and free from any impediments.
Increases the Horse’s Lifespan: A healthy set of teeth contributes to a longer and more comfortable life for your horse. Untreated dental issues can lead to pain, infection, and systematic health problems. Investing in routine dental exams can help extend your horse’s life.
High Caliber Performance for Routine Dental Check-Ups
Routine equine dental check-ups are a fundamental aspect of responsible horse care. One of the most critical concepts horse owners should embrace is that prevention is the key to good dental health. The fact is that without a routine program of correction and maintenance that begins early in the life. It is vital that your horse receives check-ups early for prevention and then regularly to ease any discomfort. Your horse will thank you for it!