It is difficult to emphasize just how important good oral hygiene and dental attention is for the domestic horse. Dental care is sometimes over looked by owners as teeth cannot be seen clearly unlike a hoof with a loose shoe, which would be rectified with a call to the farrier.
Booking an Equine Dental Technician or vet at least once a year for a maintenance check up is essential for a balanced and comfortable mouth. Do not wait until there are obvious signs of dental problems as prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to equine dentistry - what starts out as a minor problem will accelerate over time.
Dental care can help extend the life expectancy of a horse and improve its quality of life. Poor teeth will often result in poor digestion, eventual loss of condition and possibly behavioural problems. Dental problems may be congenital, genetic, trauma related or due to simple wear patterns that escalate into major malocclusions (abnormal contact between opposing teeth).
Dentistry can help optimise biomechanical function and improve overall health. Good dental equilibration also saves money in long term as feed is utilised properly and not wasted by quidding or partial digestion.
Head injuries and oral problems can put the whole body out of alignment as the horse compensates for this imbalance by redirecting pressure to other areas. This diverted pressure can manifest itself in many ways for example; lameness and behavioural problems such as bucking.
Problems are obviously not always dental related, but it’s advisable to have your horse’s teeth, tack and back checked once a year as well as analysing his nutritional needs no matter what your discipline; from competition to leisure horse.
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