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Wolf Teeth
Equine Dental
Friday 4th of January 2013 09:25 AM

"Wolf Teeth" in horses are vestigial premolar teeth that appear in the gap, called "the bars," between the rear molars and the front incisors. They are usually shed before age 3, but if the horse is asked to accept a bit before they are gone, these non-functional teeth can interfere with the bit and cause pain. Behavioral reactions, such as head-shaking and unresponsiveness.

Blind wolf teeth are wolf teeth that are present but may not have erupted through the gum. They may remain completely underneath the gingiva.


There is a school of thought which says that all ridden horses should have their wolf teeth extracted because if they are removed then they cannot cause any problems and it is not a major surgical procedure. With the wolf teeth removed it is also easier to put in a proper bit seat. There is another school of thought which believes that wolf teeth should be assessed and removed when they are likely to be causing a problem. Very few vets or equine dental technicians subscribe to the belief that they are never a problem. Certainly it is useful to assess wolf teeth because some horse owners are reluctant to have them removed unless they are very likely to be causing problems.


Example of wolf tooth extractors. The cylinder like design is placed over the tooth to remove the tissue so that an elevator can be introduced.


Routine Dental Care
Equine Dental
Saturday 1st of March 2008 05:51 AM

Horse Dental

The Importance of Maintaining the Health of Your Horse's Mouth

Routine dental care is essential to your horse's in health. Periodic examinations and regular maintenance, such as floating, are especially necessary today for a number of reasons.The teeth of your horse grow continuously and it is therefore not surprising that they are a likely cause of concern for the watchful owner. While a dental exam is usually the way that dental problems are detected, you will be able to tell that something is amiss when your horse chews with difficulty, drops more feed than it actually swallows, suddenly evidences a coat that is in poor condition, or if you notice undigested substances in the animal’s stool.

  • We have modified the horse's diet and eating patterns through domestication and confinement.
  • We demand more from our performance horses, beginning at a younger age, than ever before.
  • We often select breeding animals without regard to dental considerations.

Proper dental care has its rewards. Your horse will be more comfortable, will utilize feed more efficiently, may perform better, and may even live longer.

Floating Horses Teeth
As you can see, adequate dental care is a priority that must not be overlooked. Frequent veterinary checks for pointed or misaligned teeth will prevent abscesses that require costly treatments. Pointed teeth may be filed down to prevent injury to the gums. In extreme cases, tooth extractions and even surgery to promote the proper alignment of the jaws may be indicated. Ask your veterinarian to train you in the appropriate methodology of examining the condition of your horse’s teeth yourself so that you can keep a close eye on its oral health.

Include routine dental care in your veterinarian visits.

Remember a Healthy Horse is a Happy Horse!
When is the last time your horse visited the dentist?

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