Common Dental Problems

Horses are naturally grazing animals and the dietary modifications that result from our modern practices may also affect the way in which teeth are worn.

Horses’ teeth continue erupting throughout the entire life and this requires appropriate “exercise” to wear them to the right level and shape. Wear abnormalities are not uncommon and may lead to other problems. In addition horses may suffer from other dental problems.

The most common include:

  • Sharp enamel points forming on cheek teeth, causing lacerations of cheeks and tongue
  • Retained caps (deciduous teeth that are not shed)
  • Discomfort caused by bit contact with the wolf teeth
  • Hooks forming 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 bite planes 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

These problems may result in to other more serious issues such as tooth infections, colic and weight loss. They can be largely avoided by regular examinations by your veterinarian similar to your dental hygienist visits.