Lightbulbs about Horse Teeth

Teeth and Dentistry

horse teeth


A beautiful Warmblood mare (whom I’ll call Black Damsel) continuously had problems.  I had been doing chiropractic and acupuncture work on her for over a year .  Yet her neck was stiff, and she would grind her teeth when being ridden.  Black Damsel constantly had neck and lumbar subluxations.  The same chiropractic pattern would reappear every single month.  This is not normal.

Numerous times I had a “gut feeling” that Black Damsel needed dental work.  But her owner told me that she had the teeth done twice–by two different veterinary dentists. Both were power floats.

Then she had a new dentist–who uses natural dentistry– give it a shot.  It turned out that Black Damsel had a hook in the back of her mouth.  Her owner showed it to me.  It looked exactly like a shark tooth. That hook had been gouging a hole into the tooth above it.  No wonder she ground her teeth!

The very next day after the natural float, Black Damsel was relaxed without a stiff neck.  She was fluid, moving from behind, could collect beautifully—and all with no teeth grinding.  It was awesome!  And her chiropractic subluxation pattern went away.

How had the other dentists missed the shark tooth?

It seems that veterinary dentists rely on their power tools too much.  In order to get a good feel for the teeth, you must use your hands.  Not just your tools.  The natural dentist uses a speculum and puts his arm in the horses mouth up to his elbow.  He feels each and every tooth, all the way to the back of the mouth.  That’s where he found the shark tooth.

I finally managed to cross paths with the equine dentist who had fixed Black Damsel, Randy Erickson.

Randy is a fountain of information!  Couple quick “lightbulb” moments for me, that hopefully might help you, too:

Natural dentist tips

  • Do NOT do anymore power floats.
  • There are a bunch of reasons for this, but basically power floating takes WAY too much off the horse’s tooth.  Even very “light” power floating takes off too much tooth.
  • When horses have been power floated, it takes 1.5 to 2 years for the teeth to grow back enough for a natural dentist to work with.
  • Horses know where their feet are…because of their teeth.
  • Teeth have great numbers of proprioceptive nerves (proprioception tells you where your body is in space).   When horses are missing teeth, or are not occluded (top and bottom teeth resting comfortably together), then proprioception deteriorates.
  • To illustrate this, Randy gave this example:  When elderly people start losing their teeth, they coincidentally often start losing their balance.  But it’s no coincidence.  Because of the missing teeth, they are missing proprioception.  So they can’t balance as well.
  • The performance changes you can make with good  dental care, preferably natural balance dentistry, are simply amazing.

I highly recommend finding a Natural Dentistry graduate.

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