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Horses’ teeth grow throughout their lifetime, making them prone to developing dental abnormalities. Therefore, it is important that your horse have a dental examination yearly. During a yearly examination, Dr. Jordan will do a brief dental exam without using sedation. Most horses over 5 years old have some abnormalities. If abnormalities are noted, we will sedate your horse so a full dental examination can be done.
We often find that older horses have projections on the edges of their teeth which cut their gums and make chewing uncomfortable. We file down these projections with a large file. This process is called floating. If your horse has a more serious condition called wave mouth, we will shorten some of his teeth with the file so he can chew more easily. Wave mouth means some teeth are too long and some are too short, making the horse unable to bite down correctly to chew his food. This can lead to weight loss as well as mouth pain. Some horses will drop feed out of their mouths. Some horses can have very severe wave mouth, however, without dropping any feed.