This is a great example of a severe parrot mouth in a young horse. This particular horse is so bad that the incisor teeth do not meet at all. This horse will have difficulty grazing, will definitely grow upper 6 hooks and lower 11 ramps that will have severe consequences if not reduced on a regular basis. With yearly correction and the proper diet, the horse should live a normal healthy life. Left untreated, this horse will be unable to chew and likely die of malnourishment. As this condition is inherited, no horse with this type of abnormality should ever be allowed to reproduce.
Under bite or "Monkey Mouth". This horse has the opposite issue than the horse in the previous photo. The problems caused by an under bite are very similar to those caused by an over bite. He will have difficulty grazing, grow large lower #6 ramps and upper #11 hooks. He will require yearly dental equillibration in order to maintain a functional mouth, and he should never be bred as the condition is inherited.
Large Upper 6 Hooks
This dental abnormality can severely inhibit the ability of the horse to chew and prevents him from being able to break at the poll. Left untreated these hooks can grow into the lower jaw causing extreme pain and infection of the soft tissue and bone of the jaw. If you look closely you can also see a long tooth in the back. This is known as a "step", its an unopposed tooth that has been allowed to grow into the space where the opposing tooth should be.
Same Horse After Dentistry
In this case I have reduced the large upper 6 hook as much as possible without damaging the sensitive structures of the tooth. The step has also been reduced. This type of mouth abnormality will require yearly floating in order to maintain a functional, pain free mouth.
Normal Dentition With Cheek Ulcers
This horse has a pretty normal mouth with even dentition, however he has grown sharp enamel points that have caused ulcers or erosions in the mucosa of his cheek. The brown spots are the ulcers, and there is a long vertical laceration visible and the front of the photo. This type of ulceration is common and can be severe, causing pain, infection, poor performance and decreased chewing function.
Upper 6 Hook
This is another example of a good sized hook on the first upper cheek tooth. This horse also had a large ramp of the last bottom molar that had eroded into the mucosa of the upper gums. Below is a photo of the same horse after dentistry.
This is a fracture of the first premolar on the left side of the mouth. (Left Upper #6). This horse was having difficulty chewing, was reluctant to collect and would not pick up the left lead. There was a lot of feed material packed into the space between the two pieces of tooth causing a foul odor that was evident when standing next to the horse. After the tooth was extracted the comfort level of the horse was significantly improved, and he no longer was resistant to the bit or the left lead.
Deep Cheek Ulcers in a Young Horse
This is a very good example of deep cheek ulcers (brown spots) caused by a very sharp enamel point on the second to last upper tooth ( upper #10 molar) This horse was a 3 year old having difficulty collecting and was a chronic head tosser. 2 weeks after dentistry the head tossing stopped and he was much softer in the bit.
This is a severe slant mouth. When the incisors (front teeth) are touching the cheek teeth (premolars and molars) are not. As the horse chews the lower jaw moves from side to side. The incisors separate as the cheek teeth meet in the grindig stroke of the chewing cycle. A horse with slanted incisors is unable to achieve this grinding stroke because the incisors do not separate through the chewing cycle, so the cheek teeth do not fully engage. Over time the cheek teeth will begin to wear unevenly, further decreasing the ability of the horse to chew. The photo below is the same horse after correction. The bite is not perfect, as there is a limited amount of tooth that can be removed without damaging the living structures of the teeth. This horse will require regular correction in order to maintain a functional mouth. This situation could have been prevented with regular routine dental care.
THE SAME HORSE AFTER INITIAL CORRECTION. FURTHER CORRECTIONS WILL BE NECESSARY
Severe Wave Mouth
LEFT SIDE OF MOUTH
Unfortunately for this horse, no dentistry was ever performed. This is what can happen when a wave mouth goes without correction. The horse was very thin, could not eat anything but soaked senior feed and beet pulp. His incisors were intact and age was estimated to be 15 years old. At this point there is very little, if anything that can be done to help this horse. If this problem had been discovered early on, corrective dentistry could have saved his teeth and easily doubled his life span.