Skip to content
  • Print

Irregular Wear

Correcting any irregular wear of the surfaces of the teeth is the main reason horses should have a routine dental examination (every year for most adult horses, or every 6 months for older horses).

The degree of irregular wear of the teeth can be influenced by many factors including:

  • the shape of the horse’s mouth
  • its age
  • the type of diet and way it is fed (e.g. pasture feeding vs. commercial horse feed)
  • previous mouth infections
  • the amount of dental care the horse has previously received.   

Why is irregular wear important?

Uneven tooth surfaces can interfere with the horse's ability to chew or grind its food properly, particularly if the upper and lower teeth don't align correctly. In addition, sharp points or edges that develop on teeth can rub on the gums or the tongue and lead to the development of painful ulcers.