Our teeth are a portal to good health. Gum disease in humans can lead to significant health concerns, including heart conditions. Dental health is just as crucial for our equine friends. So what’s the deal with equine dentistry? How exactly does it work, and what should you know about it? Here is some insider information.
Why Equine Dentistry is Important
Just like with humans, dental health isn’t just about keeping teeth white and straight. Our dental health can indicate much more concerning problems, including heart disease. For horses, the same is true. Maintaining your horse’s teeth will ensure that eating is painless and can even increase their lifespan.
Overview of Typical Services
Aside from the obvious difference in the size and general cooperation of the patient, equine dentists need to know many things that human dentists don’t. This veterinary specialist will use special tools to examine and treat their patients effectively. They will conduct procedures like:
They will also treat oral diseases that could be contagious.
We work with an equine dentist in Ocala who will come on-site to examine and treat our horses. To find your equine dentist, start by talking to your veterinarian. They can refer you to a specialist and help you understand the process. Questions to ask equine dentists include:
- Do you use sedation?
- Do you use a full-mouth speculum, light, and mirrors for the examination?
- Do you provide pain control?
- Do you have access to X-Ray equipment?
- Do you continue your equine dentistry education?
- Do you keep a record of each horse’s dental charts?
Common Tooth Problems in Thoroughbreds
There are some common dental problems in horses worth looking out for. For example, some horses have an inconsistent chewing pattern which can lead to teeth wearing unevenly, causing sharp edges. It’s also common to crack or lose a tooth. Gaps between teeth can cause gum disease. They may develop bad breath, food can get caught in their cheeks, or you start noticing undigested food in their droppings. All of these should mean a call to the equine dentist.