20 Things Your Horse’s Teeth are Telling You

Brush up on your equine oral health knowledge with these facts about dental anatomy, issues, and exams.

20 Things Your Horse
Knowing what a healthy mouth looks like makes it possible to recognize discolorations indicative of potential problems. | Photo: Photos.com

Brush up on your equine oral health knowledge with these facts about dental anatomy, issues, and exams.

If your eyes have glossed over while reading about, say, the genetics of Class II malocclusions, or the meticulously clinical evaluation of hooks, ramps, steps, and waves, you’re likely not alone. Equine dentistry coverage usually focuses on particular conditions and is presented as a highly technical review of specific research. For a more straightforward approach, we collected insight about the equine mouth from veterinary dental provider Tom Daugherty, DVM, of Advanced Equine Veterinary Practice in Georgetown, Ky.

Following are 20 fun, useful, or otherwise interesting equine oral health facts.

1. Tooth Types

Equine oral anatomy is complex, but knowing a few basics will make it easier to understand your veterinarian’s description of what he or she observes while conducting an exam. Three material components form the tooth: dentin, cementum, and enamel. Each has differing density levels, with the enamel, found in vertical columns throughout the tooth, the hardest of the three. Within the tooth’s body is the pulp, which extends into the root. The pulp carries the main blood and nerve supply of the

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Written by:

Scot Gillies is Editor, Professional Products at Blood-Horse Publications. Outside of the office, he trail rides with his off-the-track gelding, breeds and races Thoroughbreds, and is a terrible handicapper, invariably losing money (but still having fun) at the racetrack. He is a former photo/newsletter editor for The Horse.

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