Equine Dentition

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Equine Dentition. Equine Health Management November 30, 2011 Presentation by Erin Pittman. “Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth”. Aging a horse by teeth Diseases of the teeth Diseases of the oral cavity. Teeth. Incisors – cutting teeth, closest to the front of the mouth - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Equine Dentition

Equine Dentition

Equine DentitionEquine Health ManagementNovember 30, 2011Presentation by Erin Pittman

Never Look a Gift Horse in the MouthAging a horse by teeth

Diseases of the teeth

Diseases of the oral cavity

TeethIncisors cutting teeth, closest to the front of the mouthCanines common in adult males, less common and smaller in adult femalesFound in the gap between the incisors and premolarsPremolars the three or four cheek teeth closest to front of mouthMolars the three cheek teeth at the back of the mouth3Canines = bridle teethDeciduous TeethA total of 24 baby or milk teeth in the young horse12 incisors and 12 premolarsNo canines or molars!

4Deciduous teeth have necks, a definite restriction between crown and root; permanent teeth have a smooth tapering shape from crown to root.Permanent TeethReplace the deciduous teeth, where presentThe deciduous tooth that precedes the permanent tooth is called a capFrom eruption to being in wear is ~6 monthsContinue to grow, using up the reserve crown over many yearsAdult stallion with wolf teeth has 42 teeth


Permanent TeethSix cheek teethPremolars 2, 3, and 4Molars 1, 2, and 3Fourth cheek tooth is the first molarFirst premolar = wolf toothMay be absent or very small in adultIncisors:CentralIntermediateCornerEruption DatesDeciduousPermanent1st incisor0 1 week2 years2nd incisor4 6 week3 years3rd incisor6 9 months4 years*Canine4 5 years1st Premolar (wolf tooth)5 6 monthsEruption DatesDeciduousPermanent2nd Premolar0 2 weeks2 years3rd Premolar0 2 weeks3 years4th Premolar0 2 weeks4 years1st Molar9 12 months2nd Molar2 years3rd Molar3 - 4 years Aging by teethAn imprecise science after the permanent teeth have erupted and are in wear, aging by teeth is a matter of judgement!

Things to considerPermanent vs. deciduous teeth7 and 11 year hooksPoints and stars. Enamel cups and dental starsGalvaynes GrooveIncisor AngleLip tattoo. 1997 started the alphabet again at A12Lip tattoo: if it starts with A, born in 1997, B= 98backwards for older horses

One Year Old

Two Years Old

15First incisor erupts at 2 years oldThree Years Old

16Permanent third premolar comes in; 2nd incisor comes in -way through the yearFour Years Old

17Permanent fourth premolar comes in; beginning of appearance of canine in stallions; third incisor erupts 4 yearsFive Years Old

18 cup is present by age 5 -- flattened; canine apparent in stallionsSix Years Old

19Teeth still upright, elongated cavity; longer teeth; full mouth (all teeth in)

Seven Years Old

7-year hook21Still upright teeth, long, 7-year hook appears in 60% of horses!Eight Years Old

22Double-hole in first incisorsNine Years Old

23Double elongated holes in second and third incisors; first incisor is round

Ten Years Old

Galvaynes Groove24Appearance of Galvaynes Groove in top corner tooth. Second incisor is round. Teeth appear more triangular in shape; holes are more triangular, than oblong; double oblong holes in third incisors, gone from first and second (which are appearing more triangular)Twelve Years Old

2511-year hook, similar to 7-year hook! At 11 third incisor is round; at 12 rounder cavities in teeth; angulation more evidentFifteen Years Old

26Galvaynes groove -way down corner tooth; small round holes in teeth; lower incisors very triangular in shape; much more angledSeventeen Years Old

27Galvaynes groove almost all the way down the corner toothTwenty Years Old and Older

28Highly angled teeth; at 20 galvaynes groove all the way down the tooth, starts to recede from the top after 20 (i.e., at 25, still at bottom of tooth, but gone from top near gum line); corner tooth elongatedDental Problems?QuiddingSpilling/spitting grain or hayDifficulty chewingCheek sensitivity or swellingSensitivity to the bitHead shaking or head tiltFoul odor from mouth or nostrilsExcess salivationExaggerated tongue movementsBleeding from mouth (especially after riding)Poor body conditionRough haircoat29Quidding = dropping partially chewed food from the mouthDental ExaminationsProbably need to be tranquilized!

MUST use a full-mouth speculum

Visual and digital examination essential

How often?

Dental ProblemsRetained dental capsPermanent teeth cant push deciduous teeth outLampasSwelling in hard palate mucous membraneTwo year old bumpsBone reacts with teeth lump below jawWolf teethNot always next to premolar 2Wolf tooth location and extraction

Dental ProblemsCaninesDont always eruptMolar hooksUpper premolar 2Lower third molar (most painful)Float inside lower jaw, outside of upper jawCribbing (woodchewing)Air isnt swallowed!Floating the teeth toget rid of sharp pointson molars and premolarsOutside of upper teethInside of lower teeth

Dental ProblemsWindsucking (Stumpsucking)Similar to Cribbing but doesnt require something to set teeth onMay cause colicOverdevelopment of neck muscles

Parrot Mouth/overshot jawIncreased incidence of molar hooksDecreased ability to prehend food35Parrot Mouth

Dental ProblemsMonkey Mouth/undershot jawWave MouthCan be caused by retained capUneven wear of premolars and molarsStep mouthMissing teeth/uneven wearCracked or fractured teeth

Dental ProblemsPeriodontal diseaseDental decayTooth root abscessSupernumerary teethDentigerous cystSalivary duct injuriesTongue lacerationsOral ulcers

Dental ProblemsCleft Palate


Bishoping40Odontoma = tumor in the tooth areaBishoping = shaping an 11-year old horses teeth so that it looks like a 7-year old. Deceptive practice!DysphagiaDifficulty or unwillingness to eatSlow and messy feedingExtreme bad breathQuiddingProductive coughNasal reflux of saliva, food and fluidsPossible Causes:Strangles infectionStylohyoid osteomyleitisPhysical traumaPoisoning, such as leadBotulismInability to prehend, chew and swallow properly