Dental care in horses involves the same principles as human dentistry - many of the diseases seen in human teeth are also diagnosed and treated in horses. Just like people, horses experience dental pain from issues such as nerve pain, oral ulcers, impacted teeth, feed packing into the diastema, tooth fractures, tooth eruption and root infections causing abscesses.

As herbivores, horse teeth are designed to grab and grind forage (grasses). Their teeth are constantly worn away by the actions of chewing and grinding, but have a 'reserve crown' beneath the gum line in the jaw which erupts (pushes through the gum) which replaces the worn down tooth. Generally, horses have enough reserve crown to ensure they still have functioning teeth into their twenties (or even their thirties), although this does depend on factors such as good health, dental care and diet. This system of wear and tooth eruption must stay in perfect balance or problems will quickly occur. If issues arise, your horse may feel pain or discomfort and begin modifying the way it chews, causing uneven wear. Areas of sharp tooth can develop and result in cuts, ulcers, bacterial infection and abscesses.

Tropical Vets has a portable horse crush as well as all tools (Including hand tools and power floats) required to perform a range of dental procedures.

We recommend that a full oral examination be performed at the time of the dental procedure to identify any issues that need to be addressed. This includes an external examination of the head and internal examination of the mouth.

To maintain your horses dental health, we recommend that they receive a dental check at least once a year. Horses under the age of five, or those fed grain, need a dental check at least once every 3-6 months.

References: au.virbac.com; ava.com.au