Routine dental care is essential to your horse's health. Periodic exams, corrections and regular maintenance are especially necessary for a number of reasons. Proper dental care will make your horse more comfortable, utilize feed more efficiently, may perform better, and even longer. We make it easy by mailing you a reminder to schedule your horse’s upcoming dental checkup
Common dental problems include sharp enamel points causing ulceration of the cheek and tongue and discomfort, abnormal wear of the arcades causing excessive growth of certain teeth (formation of hooks, ramps), lost or broken teeth, and periodontal disease among others.
Signs of dental problems or disease may include loss of feed from the mouth while eating, difficulty chewing, excessive salivation, or undigested feed is noticed in the manure. Owners may also notice a loss of body condition or behavioral changes such as head tossing, fighting the bit, head tilting or abnormal behavior under saddle. More severe signs of dental disease may include a foul odor from the mouth or nostrils or swelling of the face, mouth or jaw tissues. Any of the signs above are reasons to schedule a dental examination even if the animal has been examined on a regular basis.
Routine dental care involves a thorough examination of the oral cavity under sedation with the help of an oral speculum in place. This inspection should be done visually as well as by feel and is recommended on a yearly basis or every 6 months based on your horse's age and dental history. Maintenance and corrections are performed with dental floats (power assisted or hand floats) as well as a variety of other tools designed for specific needs.
Dental care should be performed by licensed veterinarians as it can irreversibly change your horse's mouth. Your veterinarian will advise you on other diagnostic or therapeutic procedures and/or treatments that may be recommended based on the examination such as feeding changes, radiographs, dental extractions, antibiotic therapy, or work up for related conditions such as sinus infections, etc… Your veterinarian will also develop a program and schedule for future examinations and care based for each individual horse.
At Tryon Equine Hospital, we are equipped to handle all of your equine dental needs- from routine examination and care, to more advanced procedures. Please contact us if you would like any additional information on equine dentistry or to schedule an appointment for an evaluation.