Your horse’s teeth are vital for their survival. Their health can quickly go downhill when complications arise in the mouth. That’s why it’s essential you know a few basic facts about them. Don’t be surprised if you didn’t know most of this fascinating information!
1. Geldings and stallions have between 36 and 44 permanent teeth. Adult mares have between 36 and 40.
2. In the front of the mouth, each horse has six upper and six lower teeth that are known as incisors. These handy teeth grab grass and other foliage.
3. The back of the mouth is home to 12 upper and lower molars. These bad boys help your horse grind their food for digestion.
4. Young horses have 24 milk teeth, also known as caps.
5. Teeth begin to surface within a week of birth. At six months, a mouth of caps should be present. By age five, the milk teeth should be replaced with permanent adult teeth.
6. Wolf teeth can be found in some horses. This vestigial tooth is usually removed when the horse is still young in order to prevent problems in the future. They’re similar to a person’s wisdom teeth.
7. They’re continuously surfacing and erupting from the gum. Nearly 1/8 inch per year of tooth eruption should be expected. Luckily, as your horse grinds their food they wear their teeth down.
8. Once a year, an equine dentist can come to your farm to ‘float’ your horse’s teeth. This process removes sharp edges.
9. Your horse may have a dental problem if they begin to lose weight, have cheek sensitivity, and excess salivation.
10. Lastly, horse teeth take up more space in their heads than their brains!
Whoa! That’s a whole lot of information. What new facts did you learn?