One of the most neglected areas of equine health management is the maintenance and upkeep of teeth. From birth, equines start the process of evolving and shedding teeth which carries on until they have a full mouth of adult teeth at the approximate age of 5. These formative years are very special, for if the milk teeth do not erupt, continue to enlarge and eventually fall out there are major problems ahead for the mature adult teeth waiting to replace them.
Once the adult teeth are fully in place, with regular maintenance, there is no reason why they should not have years of carefree chewing.
Horses masticate (chew) their food in such a way that when they create sharp edges on their teeth they mainly do so on the upper outer edges and the lower inner edges. If the edges are allowed to get too long and sharp the pattern of mastication is disturbed. You often find that they become irritable and frequently either drop food whilst eating or pack food between the teeth and the cheeks to lessen the effect of tooth rubbing against soft tissue.
If you discover a problem please, no matter how trivial, contact Sophie Knight, your local equine dental technician.