Young horse jaw bone i found in a pasture. Awesome find!!
you can see the last molar hasn't erupted yet. this is probably a 3yr old horse.
notice the sharp edges on the teeth?? yes, those are supposed to be there!!! they help in the chewing and breaking down of grass and hay. when they're ground down smooth they lose that ability and your horse can't chew or digest properly. finding a true professional dentist is a must to ensure adequate care it taken of your horses teeth :)
Proper dentition is a crucial element of balance to your horse.
Not just for eating but for neurological, muscular, and hoof balance and function.
Sound farfetched?? to some maybe, but once your horse has been fine tuned by a specialized equine dentist that focuses on the whole horse you'll be a believer.
is your horse cranky or moody? are the temporalis muscles enlarged? are the masseter muscles atrophied or too tight? does it have hoof issues such as one club foot or flares that just won't grow out? are his shoulders misaligned and overmuscled when viewed from behind? or how about his hips, are they sunken in or does he have a steep croup?
all these ailments may have to do with a malalignment in its mouth!! not every issue is dental related but the more i study equine dentition and see things out in the field the more i'm seeing a correlation to the teeth and the rest of the horse from attitude to stance to muscle development and hoof structure. horse's who are moody could have a headache from the misalignment of the TMJ joint, which is the neurological hub of the whole horse!!
incisors way out of control! Does the person doing your horse's teeth address the incisors??
Much better after a proper dental work up.
the key to this blog to show you the importance of finding an educated dentist to perform dental work on your horse. and by that i mean ask for their credentials, if they've not gone to a specialized dental school or have learned from a dentist be wary of their expertise in doing the work. a lot of harm is being done to horses teeth that are robbing them of years off their lives.
here's a few key things to look for in choosing someone to work on your horse's teeth:
1) are they a certified equine dentist?? if not, they may not possess the know how to properly perform dental work. case in point, many vets don't even take a dental class in vet school. at the very most its an elective course. so don't just assume they know how.
2) do they use power or hand tools?? in my opinion power tools have no business being used anywhere near a horse's mouth. the heat and concussion can cause permanent damage to teeth and prolonged use can wear out enamel faster than it can erupt and in turn rob years from your horse's life. inhalation of enamel dust can also cause permanent lung damage. why do you think that vet is wearing a mask?? but how about your horse?? he's breathing that stuff right down into his lungs and its could be doing some major damage.
3)are the incisors being addressed?? so many times i see horses in the field who have vampire fangs for outer incisors and yet the vet was just out a month before and said the horse didn't need any work done. huh??? if the incisors are not balanced the whole mouth is not balanced. period.they are the first teeth that need to be addressed and fangs inhibit the forward/backward movement of the jaw needed for plucking grass and proper chewing motion within the mouth.
working where the horse is comfortable. by feel more than sight. notice how the mouth isn't jacked up to the the ceiling.
bottom line is this, ask for credentials. don't just assume someone knows what they're doing inside your horses mouth just b/c they have the tools or a few letters after their name. ask to watch them in action before allowing them to work on your own horses. if they're jacking up the mouth for extended periods of time with a speculum they could be harming the TMJ hinge. if they're yanking on the horse's tongue they could be damaging the hyoid bone which is connected to the base of the mouth. if they break out power tools....RUN.
i highly recommend finding someone with the knowledge that Spencer LaFlure imparts on his students. there's a link to his site on my links page to help you find a practitioner near you. i'm not trying to throw vets under the bus, just trying to make horse owners aware of the dangers of letting just anyone with a set of tools work on their horse's mouths. its like i always say, its YOUR horse don't be afraid to ask the right, and sometimes tough, questions. your horse will thank you for your efforts :)
Here's a link to Spencer LaFlure's video. I highly recommend getting it and learning what you can about your horse's mouth. The link is to a portion of the video on youtube. the video can be purchased through his website.
how many floating tools does your dentist/vet use?? each one of these is angled for the proper arcade, rough and smooth files, incisor files, etc.
One flat float does not a proper dental kit make!