Equine Dental Vets

EDV Articles

Browse our informative articles on horse care and treatment written by EDV vet members as published in top equine publications.

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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Wolf Teeth - So Why All the Fuss?

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, MICEVO

A horse has many teeth, of several types and this has been discussed in previous articles. One that commonly causes alot of confusion for horse owners is the wolf tooth.

Wolf teeth are a vestigial tooth (this means they are a tooth that is no longer necessary) and can be thought of abit like wisdom teeth in people. Fossil records show that the ancient ancestor of the modern horse (Equus Caballus) was the size of a dog and survived on a very different diet to today's horses. Eohippus or the "Dawn horse" ate low bushes and shrubs and had small cheek teeth similar to those of humans. Whereas modern horses generally have six cheek teeth in each arcade Eohippus had seven. As the horse's diet changed (to grass) and horses grew bigger so their teeth increased in size to provide a larger chewing and grinding surface. When this...

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Then and Now

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, MICEVO

Equine dentistry by vets in this form has existed for a long time, but with steadily improving techniques and equipment. It is only ignorance that has prevented the widespread uptake of proper equine dentistry implemented by trained, registered equine vets by horse owners.

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