Equine Health - Equine Dentistry
Monday 13 September 2010
It is a well known fact that a horse’s mouth is a neglected area. We spend hours every week making sure our horses are groomed and looking their best but their teeth are quite often forgotten. It is important that horses have good oral health and including teeth hygiene and maintenance in your grooming and horse care routine will really make a difference.
Why is Equine Dentistry so important?
More and more people are beginning to understand how important equine dental health is. If your horse’s dental health is poor then this will reflect on his overall health, well being and performance. For herbivores in particular it is essential that they can chew their feed properly before digesting.
An argument against equine dental help is how did horses manage to survive evolution without an equine dentist? Below you will find some ideas for you to think about:
• One reason why horses need dental care is we have messed around with their diet and feeding pattern. Think how their domesticated feed and feeding routine affects their chewing pattern.
• We also put a bit in the horse’s mouth which is very painful if your horse has tooth or gum problems. The bit can also injure the tongue and other structures in the mouth if sized or used incorrectly.
• Horses live longer now than they used to so stand more chance of developing dental problems.
• We do not breed horses according to their dental health but in the wild natural selection would have filtered out horses with anatomical defects in the mouth.
• By breeding miniature horses where the size of the horse has changed faster than the teeth you are bound to have dental problems. This can also be a problem when thoroughbreds that have long jaws are bred with Arabians who have short jaws; this can result in a short jawed horse with large teeth.
Having an equine dentist check on your horses teeth can make your horse’s quality of life much better and your horses performance may well be enhanced.