Equine Dental Vets
Periodontal Disease - An Introduction

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, MICEVO

If you own horses then you should be familiar with the term periodontal disease, and yet chances are you haven't heard of it. This disease is the most common disease affecting horses, with around 70% of horses suffering from its effects. So what is this important disease, what are its effects and how is it diagnosed and treated? Well firstly let's explain the word periodontal, perio means around and dontal means tooth so periodontal disease is disease of the structures that support teeth; these include the gum, the bone and the periodontal ligaments. It is a disease which can affect horses of all ages, and the author has observed life threatening periodontal disease in horses as young as 18mths of age.

The periodontal ligament

The periodontal ligament plays a very important role in the horse's mouth, it is responsible for stabilising the tooth against the forces it experiences during chewing but also...

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