COMMON INDICATIONS OF DENTAL PROBLEMS
"As an equine dentist I am often called to horses experiencing dental problems"
MOST PROBLEMS ARE PREVENTABLE WITH REGULAR TREATMENT AS DENTAL CONDITIONS USUALLY DEVELOP IF UNCHECKED OVER TIME
IF LEFT UNTREATED SMALL PROBLEMS BECOME LARGE. REGULAR TREATMENT STOPS PROBLEMS FROM COMPOUNDING
INJURY TO THE HEAD AND JAW CAN DAMAGE DENTAL STRUCTURES AND SHOULD BE EXAMINED IMMEDIATELY
PROBLEMS IN THE MOUTH
SPEAR LIKE GRASS SEEDS IN HAY AND PASTURE COMMONLY CAUSE PAIN FOR HORSES. THEY CAN BECOME LODGED UNDER THE TONGUE AND THROUGHOUT THE MOUTH, CAUSING ULCERATION, INFECTION AND EVEN GASTRIC REFLUX. AS AN EQUINE DENTIST I OFTEN REMOVE LODGED GRASS SEEDS FROM THE ORAL CAVITY, CLEAN THE AREA AND DISCUSS THE REMOVAL OF GRASS SEEDS FROM THE DIET
FOREIGN BODIES SUCH AS WOOD AND WIRE CAN BECOME LODGED AND MUST BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY, BY A DENTIST OR VET DEPENDING ON THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM
EXAMPLES OF MOLARS REUIRING TREATMENT
EXTENDED MOLAR FRACTURED MOLAR DECAYED MOLAR
- Uneven wear can cause a molar to become extended thus impeding the horse's ability to grind its food, as well as causing damage to the opposing molars. Regular filing corrects tooth levels and enables normal wear and chewing ability.
- Molars can become fractured due to injury. This commonly leads to infection and in most cases requires extraction.
- Decayed molars are due to extensive periodontal disease. This is commonly seen in horses that have not had regular dental treatment. Sharp edges of the teeth cause feed to be retained in the mouth for long periods of time which results in gum disease and eventual tooth loss. Decayed molars are extracted from horses as the ongoing infection associated with a loose molar is a significant strain on the system, causing weight loss, pain and difficulty eating. Regular dental treatment will prevent the problems which lead to decayed molars, this is a great advantage to your horse as it ages.
Incisors Requiring Treatment
SEVERE PARROT MOUTH INJURY TO INCISORS RETAINED DECIDUOUS INCISOR
- Incisors require treatment in the case of injury or significant jaw displacement (underbite or overbite)
- It is important to regularily check deciduous incisors in all horses aged 2-5 years as incisors can be retained, resulting in the displacement of permanent incisors. Incisor caps are extracted from young horses to enable proper eruption of the adult teeth.
Working in collaboration with Vet Jude Mulholland of FarrierVet. BELLA is a 2 year old thoroughbred RSPCA rescue horse with a severe parrot mouth.
As the roots of the molars extend significantly below gum level, Xrays can be a useful in complex cases.
I work in conjunction with vets across the district in treating special cases. These cases are often referred to me by vets. Treatment may be in the paddock or at the Vet clinic and will usually require sedation or in rare cases GA.
DENTAL CARE AND THE AGED HORSE
PREVENTION THROUGH PROPER DENTAL CARE WILL HELP YOUR HORSE MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MOUTH AS IT AGES!
Older horses that have not had regular dental treatment may require molar extractions, or can have uneven molar levels, resulting in an impeded ability to grind dry grass or hay.
I work with horse owners in developing a feeding plan for their older horse in order to help them maintain their condition.
With some extensive dental treatment and feed advice 27 year old "Charison" is still being ridden and takes part in the annual Barmah muster.
Ponies, Miniature horses and miniature donkeys
As an Equine Dentist I commonly see issues of overcrowding in small horses This overcrowding causes displacement of molars and consequentially retention of feed in the mouth. It can also cause teeth to erupt in the wrong place
PROPER DENTAL TREATMENT IS CRITICAL IN SMALL HORSES!
Selective breeding for smallness in ponies and miniatures causes congenital problems with the teeth of these equines. This is due to the increasingly restricted space available to accomodate a full set of teeth, the same in number as a larger horse.
Overcrowding can cause lack of proper wear due to a restricted ability to grind. Razor sharp edges develop, causing cheek lacerations and long term feed retention in the cheeks.