Dental Exams

Dental procedures are performed on horses by a process called "floating." Flaoting means to smooth or contour your horse's teeth with a file (called a "float"). Unlike human teeth, a horse's teeth keep growing. Periodically throughout the horse's life, sharp edges develop on the teeth, making it painful and difficult to eat. Horses like humans do have two sets of teeth in their lives. Typically they will have lost all their baby teeth by age 5. Adult horses will have between 36-44 permanent teeth. The front teeth are used to cut the foliage while the back teeth (both top and bottom) are used to turn that into a pul that is easily digestible. Food that is not properly broken down could lead to digestive issues. Othen when teeth have sharp and pointed edges, sores and cuts develop in the mouth and tongue.

Common signs there may be a dental issue:

  • Drops food from their mouth
  • Exhibits difficulty in chewing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Loss of weight
  • Undigested food particles in manure
  • Head-tossing
  • Excessive bit chewing
  • Resisting having the bridle put on
  • Difficult handling while riding
  • Mouth odor
  • Blood in the mouth
  • Face swelling
  • Nasal discharge