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The horse’s teeth: dental problems and tips

Posted in : on 17-02-2023

Healthy teeth are very important. It is influential over the overall digestion and the teeth also have an effect on behavior and on the horse’s performance. Dental problems could cause pain and a lot of people with toothache know that it isn’t beneficial to their mood. Do you want to know how you support the teeth of your horse? Please continue to read!

The teeth of horses

Horses have large teeth with 36 to 44 teeth. Even though it seems like horse teeth keep on growing, is this due to a process called eruption. This means that over the years more horse teeth are pulled out of the tooth socket. This is needed because the teeth of a horse wear off fast. To ensure that horses can continue to chew despite that they wear off fast, a new piece of tooth emerges from the tooth socket every time.

The horse’s teeth consist of 12 incisors that are used to cut grass. In addition, an adult horse also has 24 molars to chew food. Some horses have extra teeth. Stallions and geldings, but in some cases also mares, would get stallion teeth (or gelding teeth) that are found between the molars and incisors. Some horses also get wolf teeth. These are the teeth in front of the molars and can be painful when you ride your horse with a bit. For this reason, is it an option to pull the wolf teeth by an equine dentist.


Recognizing dental problems in horses

Als je paard last heeft van zijn gebit, zijn er een aantal signalen waaraan je dit kan herkennen. 

Suffers your horse from dental problems, then you could recognize it by a few symptoms or signals.

  • Eating slowly
  • Making wads of hay, spitting out food, or spilling the food
  • Bad breath
  • Weight loss
  • Getting restless from a bit, such as biting on the bit, shaking with the head, or not accepting the bit
  • Changes in behavior during training or when walking with them next to you

The signals we have mentioned above could also have another cause. Do you have a bad feeling? Consult always a vet.

Dental check at the equine dentist

Do you think your horse has dental problems? Let the teeth get checked out by an equine dentist. Preventing is better than curing them. To prevent dental problems in the future it is recommended to let them get checked out by an equine dentist. Apart from the check-up the equine dentist also checks if there are sharp corners or hooks on the teeth that have to be filed away.

The amount of check-ups depends per horse and a few factors. The age and overall health of your horse have an influence on the quality of the teeth and thus also on the number of check-ups by an equine dentist. The guideline is to check the teeth at least once a year by an equine dentist when there are no abnormalities.

Supporting the teeth from within

Wild horses eat 14 to 16 hours per day. The teeth of horses are made to chew on grass for most of the day. To keep your horse’s teeth healthy does it mean that you have to give them an unlimited amount of roughage. You can also support your horse from within to maintain strong and healthy teeth. Silicium is a mineral that is important for the skin, hair, bones, and teeth of your horse. Seaweed is also great to maintain healthy teeth. This reduces and even helps to remove existing dental plaque.

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