DEFINITION - Come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, most commonly found in front of the upper premolars. However, they can be found in the lower jaw, roof of the mouth and can have multiples of 1 to 6. Wolf teeth appear in both male and female horses and can have deciduous caps.
Causes - A natural occurrence in the majority of horses.
RESULTING PROBLEMS - Bit may contact tooth causing severe pain and discomfort. Can fracture or become loose.
SOLUTION - Wolf teeth should be removed before horse is bitted to prevent discomfort which can create bad habits. ALL WOLF TEETH SHOULD BE REMOVED FULLY AND PROPERLY! If during removal the practitioner should break the tooth, it is imperative that the root be removed as a live nerve attached to that root will continue to cause major discomfort to the horse when bitted. This discomfort can cause violent reactions which can be a danger to the rider.
DEFINITION - Wolf tooth that does not break through gums.
Causes - Can come in at an angle anywhere in upper and lower arcades.Sometimes the angle of the tooth does not allow it to penetrate gums.
RESULTING PROBLEMS - Can cause severe riding/bit problems, as it is in a location that the bit contacts. Often missed due to being buried under gums.
SOLUTION - Remove the wolf tooth and alveolar socket.
DEFINITION - Mandibular periostitis or abnormal bony growth due to trauma.
Causes - Most often caused by trauma from bit to lower jaw bone.
RESULTING PROBLEMS - Can be extremely painful causing behavioral problems when bit contacts area.
SOLUTION - Surgical pariostial elevation for removal of affected bone has had minimal success, therefore better to try various bits to minimize contact to the area.
Bit Seats are a shape that is applied to the front upper and lower molars where the bit is pulled to. This creates a happier communication to the lips, tongue and bars. Different shapes are used depending on the conformation of each mouth, personality of the horse and level of the rider .