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The horse has a total of 36 teeth with males having additional canine teeth, which are not normally present in mares or fillies. Additionally, some horses develop ‘wolf teeth’, which are small functionless teeth that can erupt just in front of the first cheek tooth.

Equine teeth grow continually throughout their lives which is why regular care is important.

Equine Dental Care

All riding horses should have their teeth checked annually. Most patients with normal wear just need a routine rasp with hand tools or a power float to remove sharp edges that ensures the cheeks and the tongue aren’t forced against these sharp points when wearing a bit and being ridden. However, it is also important to identify patients that may be developing abnormal wear patterns due to underlying dental abnormalities such as overgrowths, diastemas, missing teeth or retained caps especially in younger patients (up to 5 years of age) that are still developing their full set of adult teeth.

 

If these are not corrected or managed regularly, the problems become compounded making them harder to treat. Any horse showing signs of quidding, balling up food, being bit shy, losing body condition or appetite should have their teeth checked as soon as possible.

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