Dental care for horses, why ‘floating’ teeth is important.

Presto had his yearly dental appointment and I learned a little more about equine dentistry. It always amazes me how sharp the horse’s teeth can wear themselves over time.
Take a look at this photo of a couple of the ‘caps’ or baby teeth that the dentist removed. The first side is the chewing surface…and you can easily see how sharp some of the edges are. Then I flip the teeth over and you can see the side that was previously attached and growing.
Horses quite often lose these baby teeth naturally but occasionally the caps become slightly stuck. That’s where my lesson began. I asked why some become stuck and he explained that the horse’s back teeth, the cheek teeth, grow in a fan type structure.

What?

Click photo to visit website for more info

He explained that the teeth furthest back point slightly forward and the teeth further to the front point slight back. This growth pattern causes the teeth to form one solid surface which makes it less likely that they will get food wedged in between the teeth that would cause future problems.
(I’ll put a link in the comments below to a website with a great photo illustrating this)
He also explains that this growth pattern is why sometimes the baby teeth, or caps, will sometimes stick around a little longer than they should. With a total of twelve caps to shed between 2-5 years of age its a great idea to have the teeth checked.
Presto had some sharp points, a couple of caps, and one missing front tooth.
While one missing front tooth might seem like a big thing to skim over…I should rewind and tell you that two years ago Presto was missing ALL of his upper front teeth.
That made me nervous. What the heck happened to all of his teeth!
During that yearly visit, the dentist assured me that most, if not all of his teeth would likely grow back. So I asked him, “What the heck happened to all of his teeth?!”
He calmly replied, “He could have been kicked by another horse. Also, is there a chance he could have run into something?’
I only had to pause a moment to remember the number of times Presto miscalculated his ever-growing body while running around in the paddock before I answer, “Yes.”
Apparently what happens in the pasture, stays in the pasture, so I may never know what happened to his baby teeth…but needless to say, I’m happy he has the majority of them back.
And as for that missing tooth, we will call it added character.
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I’ve owned Presto now for four years. He has grown so much and I’m finally ready to start sharing his adventures. You can find all of his posts on my website.
What questions do you have for me about Presto?
#PressonRegardless #Presto #Equithrive

2 Comments

  1. Jenny Wood-Outhwaite on June 15, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Teeth and Feet continue to both amaze and scare me! LOL

    • Stacy Westfall on June 23, 2020 at 6:03 pm

      Totally!

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