Young and aged horses may present particular problems over and above the routine situation,for this reason it is wise to examine their teeth more frequently at intervals dictated by that particular horse.Problems in young horses may revolve around issues of teeth eruption or conformational defects.In aged horses problems are often related to tooth loss or abnormal wear patterns.


Tooth extraction in the horse is a proceedure which may only legally be carried out by a veterinary surgeon.Horses teeth can be very challenging and time consuming to extract.Reasons for extraction may include :-tooth decay,tooth fracture and mal-eruptions.
Extraction are carried out with sedation and nerve block techniques,the later being a highly skilled procedure.

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The cheek teeth of horses are normally tightly against each other.When gaps appear between them the space is referred to as diastema.these vary in size.Smaller ones may trap food material as may ones which are small at the biting surface and larger at the gum level,so called "valve diastema".If food is trapped against the gum it attracts bacteria and decays causing a bad smell and inflamation of the gum which is gingivitis.This will progress to deeper infections such as periodontal pockets and periodontitis which are painful.Ultimately tooth loss will result.There are techniques which can reduce the problems of diastema.Rasping off exaggerated ridges opposite a diastema can reduce the packing effect.Some diastemas are widened to prevent them trapping food.Periodontal pockets are often debrided with a water jet to clear them out.
Anti-biotics and pain relief may be appropriate to aid resolution of these problems.



With regular dental care dental health in horses is greatly improved.
This is one factor which has contributed to the greater longevity and improved welfare of horses in recent years.

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