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Horses with serious dental problems may or may not show signs. This is due to the fact that some horses have an incredible ability to adapt to their discomfort in order to continue eating/functioning. For this reason yearly dental examinations are essential.

Common dental problems can include the following:

- Sharp enamel points forming on the outside of the upper teeth & inside of the lower teeth, causing lacerations of cheeks and tongue

- Retained caps (deciduous/baby teeth that are not shed)

-Discomfort caused by bit contact with the wolf teeth

- Hooks/Ramps on the upper and lower cheek teeth

- Long and/or sharp canine (bridle) teeth interfering with the insertion or removal of the bit

- Lost and/or broken teeth

- Abnormal or uneven tooth surface

- Excessively worn teeth

- Abnormally long teeth

- Infected teeth and/or gums

- Misalignment/poor apposition (can be due to congenital defects or injury)

- Periodontal (gum) disease
 

Indicators of dental problems can include:

 

- Loss of feed from mouth while eating, difficulty with chewing, or excessive salivation

 

- Loss of body condition- Large or undigested feed particles (long stems or whole grain) in manure

 

- Head tilting or tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, fighting the bit, or resisting bridling

 

- Poor performance, such as lugging on the bridle, failing to turn or stop, even bucking

 

- Foul odor from mouth or nostrils, or traces of blood from the mouth

 

- Nasal discharge or swelling of the face, jaw, or mouth tissues

Do you know what's in your horses mouth?

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