Horse Health & Care

Equine Dental Problems

It is very important to be aware of possible dental problems in horses. By the time you recognize any signs of dental pain, the horse has probably been miserable for some time. Regular dental exams are essential to the healthy, pain-free life we’d all like our horses to have.

This article will list the most common symptoms of dental problems along with what problems are possible and what might be going on inside your horse’s mouth.

Symptoms to look for:

  • Weight loss.
  • Bolts his food or eats it unusually slow.
  • Dribbles his feed or drops feed half-chewed from his mouth.
  • Drools or salivates excessively.
  • Chooses to eat hay before grain.
  • Tilts or shakes his head while chewing his feed.
  • Tongue, lips or gums develop sores.
  • Manure contains un-digested grain kernels or pieces of hay.
  • Resistant to drink cold water.
  • Bad odor from his mouth or nostrils.
  • Pulls his head to one side or rears while riding.
  • Carries his tongue abnormally.
Equine Dental problems
Equine Dental problems

Common Equine Dental Problems

  • Sharp molar edges that rub your horse’s tongue or insides of his cheeks and create sores.
  • Trapped pieces of grain or hay that develop an abscess on the inside of the horse’s mouth.
  • Tooth misalignments can make the horse work harder to chew his food.
  • Cracked molars allowing decay, destructive tooth roots or invading bacteria.
  • Wolf teeth may interfere with a bit in his mouth.
  • Deciduous teeth may not allow permanent teeth to erupt.
  • Inflammation of the gums may cause problems from periodontal disease.

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