Equine Dentist Dorit Brown

Why is horse dental care important?

  1. Why is regular dental diagnosis necessary?
  2. Horse teeth and human teeth not only differ fundamentally, but also the behavior of humans and horses in pain is not comparable. The horse as a prey animal deal completely different with pain compared to us as predators. In a herd predators will always attack the weakest animal. Herd animals will not show pain or weakness, unless they have no other option. For this reason, it is difficult for horse owners to detect if their horse already has a dental issue or not.
    However, our horses give us clues. If you want to know more about how you can investigate if your horse may have dental issues, please read further under "How can I tell my horse has dental issues?"

  3. Why is dental treatment necessary?
  4. Today’s feed and breeding have changed the chewing habits compared to wild horses a thousand years ago. Their feed consisted of long, hard grasses and branches. Eating soft, rich grasses and hay results in reduced and non-uniform wear causing different dental problems:
    • sharp edges
    • hooks and ramps
    • incisors that are too long
    • unlimited tooth growth in the absence of, or weaker opposing tooth (Meisel tooth)
    • deep grooves on the tooth surface (ATRs)
    • shaft teeth

    These problems result in pain while eating and riding due to rubbing of the oral muscles, tongue and gum tissue on edges / hooks.
    As horses are prey animals, they will do anything they can, to avoid showing that they are in pain. This is our big issue and the reason why routine checkups by a well educated dental practitioner or vet are so important.
    Even if the horses` teeth and human teeth are very different, a principle applies to both - with the proper dental care, you can prevent many problems.

  5. Which benefits do you as a horse owner have from regular dental care of your horse?
  6. In addition to a happier, pain-free horse you have a horse that can utilize its food better; thereby you can feed less and save money.
    An optimal functioning bite has a positive effect on the relaxation of the muscles in the head and neck area, and thus also on the mobility, performance, and motivation of the horse.
    Since misalignments in the bite have an impact on the entire horse's body, optimizing the horse’s teeth also has a positive impact on the work life and the overall length of your horse's life.