Digestive System > Pregastric Physiology

Aging Horses by Their Teeth

A frequently observed dental problem in horses is known as "points". The upper arcade is wider than the lower in horses, and because of this, the upper and lower molars do not appose evenly. Over time, normal chewing activity wears off one edge of both the upper and lower molars.

This pattern of wear results in what can be very sharp points that can lacerate the cheeks and tongue, as shown in the necropsy specimen below.

The commonly applied and effective treatment for this disorder is "floating" the teeth - the sharp points are simply (depending on the horse's personality) rasped off.

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Author: Melissa Rouge

Send comments to Richard.Bowen@colostate.edu