Out of site out of mind? Unfortunately this is the case for many owners, however it can come with grave consequences. Horses are grazing animals designed to be chewing long fibrous material (hay/grass) for up to 18hrs a day. Because of this they have hypsodont dentition, meaning they continue to erupt reserve crown throughout their lives. They do this to replace the tooth material lost when grazing.
The above makeup of their dentition makes them susceptible to irregular wear, bite abnormalities and dental disease.
Horses can experience the same dental disease and associated discomfort that we can, however because horses are prey animals it goes against their very nature to show signs of pain or weakness, so often by the time we pick up on dental discomfort, the problems can be quite advanced and difficult to rectify.
Guidelines to treatment regimes:
Horses under the age of 5 are undergoing many dental changes, the loss of deciduous teeth (caps) and the eruption of permanent teeth, means it is a critical time to set them up for good dental health and longevity.
horses <5 should be seen minimum 6 monthly
horses >5 should be seen at lease 12 monthly