That's Not So Bad!? Correct Subtle Dental Issues NOW!
At 6 years old, this handsome Walker gelding showed me some minor dental changes that were relatively simple to fix.
This type of incisor alignment or bite is called an "underjet." Note the more forward position of lower teeth and the small rim of growth (left yellow arrow) and the worn upper incisor with a leftover longer ledge (right yellow arrow.) You can see the lower jaw can slide backward only so far before it is physically stopped by the "rim" on the lower teeth and the ledge or "hook" on the upper corner incisor.
This front view shows the mild underjet and how a rim of excess tooth grows along the entire forward edge of the lower incisors (called a "rostral rim.")
Here's his right side showing the lower rostral rim and upper incisor hook. Can you see how his attempts to retract the jaw (move it rearward) only works for a short distance? These front teeth are "in his way" with regards to full mandibular range of motion.
Here's what can happen if you don't catch these and fix them. In this teenage horse, the lower rim has grown longer and longer, severely compromising lower jaw retraction. This translates to poor mobility in the TMJ's, poll, neck, back..all the way to the hind feet through direct fascial connections.
Here's how it looked after I worked on it for 10 minutes with hand tools. This particular horse was very uncoordinated in the rear legs to the point of looking drunk--backing up was very difficult. Three days after I fixed this, she was much stronger and able to move backwards without stumbling.
Back to our Walker gelding, here is how it looked after a little work on the rostral rim and corner incisor hook. This took me 2 minutes with hand tools.
Here's the right side view after adjustments showing no rostral rim and no upper incisor hook.
I did some body work, TMJ releases and lateral flexion and you can see the jaw is already resting in a better position--it is no longer trapped and can more freely move front-to-back (anterior-to-posterior.)
Front view showing removal of lower rostral rim. It was only 1.5mm--easy to fix since we caught it early!
**Feral horses do not have such issues with their incisors for TWO main reasons.
If you like this kind of stuff, get a copy of my book, "Insight to Equus, Holistic Veterinary Perspectives on Health and Healing."
I will personally sign it for you! 🤠
Dr. Tomas T.