What are the clinical signs of dental pain?

Prompt examination will be required if any of the following signs of dental disease are seen:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Drooling
  • Quidding / dropping partly chewed food when eating
  • Swelling of the face
  • Firm bony bumps on lower jaw
  • Smelly breath
  • Discharge from the nose or face
  • Long fibres found in droppings

Clinical signs or behaviours that may also be related to dental discomfort:

  • Weight-loss
  • Poor condition
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Colic
  • Resisting a contact
  • Heavy contact
  • One-sided contact
  • Resistant to bend
  • Biting problems
  • Bridle problems
  • Head-shaking or tossing
  • Tense
  • Rearing
  • Bucking
  • Bolting
  • Other performance related problems
  • It is also very common not to see any symptoms at all!

Keeping your horse on a routine dental schedule and taking notice of abnormal behaviour or health changes can help prevent major dental problems.

Most insurance companies now pay out on claims for a dental related problem if your horse has been to a vet (MRCVS) or checked by a BAEDT registered Equine Dental Technician (EDT).

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