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Common Pathology

Sharp Enamel Edges
. . .
are the most common pathology found in a horses mouth and due to domestication will require annual check ups for routine rasping. Left untreated these can cause painful sores and lacerations to the inner cheeks and tongue.

Excessive Transverse Ridging (ETR)
 . . . to some extent is naturally occurring across the chewing surface of the tooth, it adds surface area and a rough surface which can aid effective mastication. However, if these ridges become too dominant they will restrict the lateral movements of the jaw which is essential for proper mastication. ETR is often caused by a restricted food intack and/or higher concentrates:forage ratio.

. . . . (gaps) between the teeth are naturally occurring in older horses but often more problematic if found in the younger horse due to overgrowths, rotations and displacements. A diastema can vary in severity depending on the size of the gap. Most times large gaps are not problematic as they allow food to pass freely between the teeth, the issues arise when the gaps are small and allow food to become entrapped. Trapped food starts to ferment creating a localised bacterial environment with starts to breakdown the periodontium, these are the initial stages of periodontal disease. Regular dental checks and changes to diet will usually keep this pathology under control.

Hooks and Ramps
 . . . . are common overgrowths most often caused by slight misalignments of the molar arcades. Where the teeth are not fully opposing their opposite counterpart the steady eruption of teeth will cause this area to become overgrown. Regular dental checks will avoid them becoming uncomfortable for the horse.

Caries -Infudibular & Peripheral
Sometimes not clear what causes decay in horses teeth but most often associated with horses that have not been receiving regular dental care. Horses on a high carbohydrate (sugars) diet are thought to have a higher incidence of caries and areas of dental trauma such as fractures seem to be associated with caries. Grade 1 caries (the least severe) is commonly seen in horses and very rarely leads onto anything more sinister. However, in some cases of dental neglect the caries has damaged several layers of dental tissue causing pulp exposure and severely compromised the structure of the tooth leaving it susceptible to fracturing.

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