HORSE DENTISTRY has been a most neglected and misunderstood area of horse husbandry for far too long , leaving the situation open and rife to improper treatments, guess work, and exploitation.
The horses mouth is a dynamic phenomenon, the mandible engages a motion which moves up and down as well as from side to side, these two movements combine as a rotating grinding motion. Combine this with the fact that the teeth are forever growing (erupting) and wearing, resulting in wear patterns which cause riding and nutritional problems.
[Video courtesy of www.doctorhorse.it]
The most common and re-occurring problem with the growth pattern is caused by the fact that the upper teeth are wider than the moving lower mandibular teeth, allowing sharp points to form on molar edges.
When pressure through bitting and/or tight nose bands is applied, the cheek is pushed into these sharp points causing uncomfortable bruising and lacerations to the cheeks. These sharp points should be routinely adjusted as part of regular equine dental maintenance,as well as the carefully setting up of the absolute correct geometry for each individual horse by a certified professional equine dentist.(it is strongly advised to avoid unqualified attention, as much damage can be done to a horses mouth by over treatment and guesswork.)
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