Imagine how difficult it would be to chew food and enjoy daily life with sharp, pointy objects cutting sores into the insides of your cheeks. This painful scenario is a sad fact of life for horses whose teeth are allowed to grow uncontrollably and/or to develop abnormal chewing surfaces. That’s why a procedure known as ‘tooth floating’ has long been acknowledged as an essential part of equine oral health and wellness — and why our veterinarians at White Oaks Veterinary Clinic provide this kind of equine dentistry for horses just like yours.
Unlike human teeth, which naturally erode over time, equine teeth keep growing throughout the horse’s life. This is an important and useful trait for ensuring that the horse is always able to grind up hay, grass, and other fibrous food sources for proper digestion. However, the tooth surfaces also need to remain relatively flat throughout the constant growth, and this isn’t always possible due to the fact that the lower jaw is narrower than the upper jaw. The resulting misalignment between top and bottom teeth can cause the teeth to wear in a pattern that makes them increasingly sharp and pointy. These points can jab into at the cheeks and create cuts and sores that are never given enough time to heal. As a result, your horse may resist the bridle, display difficulty or hesitation in eating, and possibly develop illnesses due to nutrient malabsorption. Some horses even exhibit temporary lameness on the rear leg corresponding to the affected side.
Tooth Floating for Edmond, Seward, Piedmont, Bethany, Meridian, Jones and Choctaw, OK Horses
Equine tooth floating is a simple method for evening out the sharp points and hooks that can develop on your horse’s teeth. Our veterinarians can perform this procedure in the course of routine dentistry visits for Edmond, Seward, Piedmont, Bethany, Meridian, Jones and Choctaw, OK horses. If your horse’s teeth clearly need floating, we can use an instrument called a rasp to shave down the topmost layers of enamel. This produces the smooth, even surfaces necessary for thorough, painless chewing and the more comfortable use of a bit and bridle.
Tooth floating does not cause your horse any pain when done correctly. However, as straightforward a procedure as tooth floating is considered to be in the world of equine dentistry, it must be performed with care and precision. Overly-enthusiastic or too-frequent tooth floating can remove enamel all the way down to the pulp chamber, a painful situation that threatens your horse’s oral health by creating a serious risk of infection. Our animal hospital will advise you when it’s time to consider tooth floating, and then administer the procedure conservatively, yet effectively.
Call White Oaks Veterinary Clinic at (405) 330-0676 to schedule a dental wellness exam for your horse. Our veterinarians can administer the necessary evaluations, tooth floating, and treatments to help protect your horse’s comfort, health, and quality of life!