Equine dentistry is essential in the health, and performance of your horse. Being proactive and having your horse’s mouth checked on an annual basis can save you money, as well as prevent potentially serious mouth or dental problems. The examination of your horse’s mouth is evaluated in several ways;
The tongue is pulled to either side of the mouth to evaluate the wear of the premolars and molars.
The temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ or Jaw Joint) is palpated to determine if there is pain or discomfort in or around the joint. This may explain abnormal emastication (chewing), riding problems, or a particular side that may need to be investigated further.
The incisors (front teeth) are held together to evaluate if one side is deviating further then the other. Hooks can also develop which can prevent side to side motion.
Sedation is very important in the complete evaluation and treatment of your horse’s mouth for a few reasons:
It allows the veterinarian to safely place the full mouth speculum into your horse’s mouth. Making it safer for everyone including the horse.
It allows the veterinarian to do a full visual inspection and digital manipulation of each tooth and soft tissue structures in the mouth.
It provides the horse with a degree of tranquility while the use of the swiss-power dental equipment is utilized throughout the mouth.The dremel tool is used to provide your horse with a “bit seat”. Where the 2 upper premolars and the 2 lower premolars are rounded to allow the bit to fit better.
At Strain Equine Services we prefer the Capps power floating equipment. We do this for 2 reasons:
- It causes less trauma then some other forms of power dentistry
- Horses do not seem to mind this form of power equipment because it tends to be a little quieter than some of the other conventional methods of power equipment.
Tooth wear is dependent on several factors:
- Age and breed of the horse
- Loose or missing teeth
- Abnormal emastication (chewing) due to trauma, abscesses, tumors, or arthritis in the temporal mandibular joint.
- Conformation or abnormal occlusion between the upper and lower tooth arcade.
- Diet (Hay vs. pasture, pellet vs. whole grains).
- All of these problems can contribute to riding or behavior issues (e.g. head tossing, circling better in one way compared to the other, or excessive chewing or salivating with the bit), nutritional or weight problems, emastication (chewing) issues (e. g. Grain or hay falling out of the mouth).
If any of these are noticed or you may think that your horse has a mouth or tooth issue please feel free to contact Dr. Strain to schedule an appointment or to discuss your horse with him.