Lena. Dental health – how to check your horse
(Originally posted on 09/02/13) When working with a new horse, I always look at hooves and teeth right away, followed by a body assessment. When Lena first came home, she was showing some pain around her tmj (temporomandibular joint). The tmj is the most critical joint in the body in many ways. It is the only paired joint in the body, meaning when one side moves the other has to move. Symmetry is critical. Many of the proprioceptive nerves originate in the first few vertebrae of the spinal cord, and tmj stress affects these nerves. Tmj function affects the entire spine and sacrum. So balancing the jaw and teeth are critical to healthy nerves and movement. I use Krystin Dennis at HorseFloss for all my horses’ dental care. www.horsefloss.com Krystin found some points and also had to adjust Lena’s upper incisors, which were too long and angling forward. Overall, Krystin said Lena has an excellent healthy mouth.
So how is your horse’s mouth? Does your horse’s face have imbalanced muscle development in the forehead? Are your horse’s cheek muscles tight or sore? Is your horse sensitive around the tmj?
How about inside your horse’s mouth? Do the incisors line up? Do the incisors easily slide past each other if you raise and lower your horse’s head? Are there obvious hooks at the corners of the last incisors? Does your horse obviously favor one side when chewing?
If you answered yes to any of these, it’s time for the dentist!
There are some simple muscle releases that relieve pain and restore correct movement, after your horse’s teeth have been done. Contact me and I’ll teach you how!
Copyright ©2016 Carrie Eastman.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or American Veterinary Medical Association, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your veterinarian about any changes to your animal’s health program.