How Can I Tell if my Horse Needs Dental Work?

Horses have evolved to survive by constantly grazing on whatever forages are available in their environment. This typically consisted of coarse grasses and other fibrous plant materials. The constant grinding motion of chewing and breaking down these materials to start the digestive process causes excessive wear and tear on the teeth, particularly the molars. In fact, if horses were born with teeth like ours, they would quickly wear them down to the gums with all that chewing, and ultimately starve. Instead, nature came up with an efficient system to continually replace the grinding surfaces on the teeth, ensuring that the horse could effectively break down plant material well into their twenties. This is achieved by the evolution of teeth that continue to “grow,” or erupt, throughout the horse's lifetime, until the root is effectively used up. Depending on how coarse the diet is, most horses have enough reserve crown to…

Subscription Upgrade Required

Upgrade your subscription now for full access or register to continue reading.


Subscribers: enter the email and password connected to your subscription.

First time logging in?
Click here.

Tablet/Mobile users must also refresh after login to activate subscription.

Not a subscriber yet?
Click here to see our print and digital subscription offers that include full access to all articles.

Subscribe now and enjoy full access to

Your All-Access Digital Subscription includes unlimited access to all articles as well as a digital subscription to each issue of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, and Canadian Thoroughbred.

digital subscription

Get full access to including all articles from Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.

print subscription

Read the digital editions of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.

View Print and Digital Subscription Offers

Love our Articles?

If you enjoyed reading the articles on this website, consider subscribing to get upcoming issues as they are published! Simply click on the button below to see your options.


to top