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Horse | From the Horse's Mouth

Before the equine dentist makes his annual visit, brush up on your dental terminology so you’ll be able to keep up with the conversation:


Rows of teeth.


The open, or interdental, spaces on the jaws between the incisors and cheek teeth where the bit sits.

canine teeth

Small pointed teeth that grow in the interdental space near the corner incisors. Most commonly found in male horses, they are also called "tushes" or "tusks."


A remnant of a deciduous tooth that can persist atop a permanent tooth.


Falling off or shed at a natural stage of life, as occurs with "baby" teeth.


Filing down sharp edges on a horse's molars using a long-handled rasp called a "float."

galvayne's groove

A stained vertical furrow that first appears at the gum line of the upper incisors when a horse is about 10 years old. Its progress down the tooth assists in determining an animal's age; by age 15, it is halfway down the incisor, and by 20, it extends the full length of the tooth.


A point or peak on a tooth's chewing surface that is developed through abnormal wear.


The six front top teeth and six front bottom teeth; used for cutting and nipping rather than grinding.


The 24 grinding teeth located along the jaws, used for crushing feed; also called cheek teeth.


Surface contact of normally aligned opposing teeth.

wolf tooth

One of up to four rudimentary teeth occasionally present in front of the first molars. In rare cases, these teeth interfere with bit action and must be removed.

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