Case Studies

Hooks

This large hook (pictured) on premolar 2 was quite sharp. As well as causing discomfort when pressure was applied to the bit, it was causing large excessive transverse ridges towards the back of the dental arcade.

What are excessive transverse ridges (ETRs)?

Each molar normally has two shallow ridges running across them. These create a rough surface to allow the horse to grind their food. ETRs are where these ridges become excessive. This is because when a horse grinds their food, they eat with a ‘figure-eight’ motion. A hook makes it difficult for the lower jaw to move forward, so they begin to eat more ‘up-and-down’, which leads to ETRs.

These ridges can wedge in-between teeth in the opposite arcade and allow food and bacteria to become trapped between the teeth. This can lead to periodontal disease, and in severe cases can cause the teeth to loosen and even fall out.

Luckily in this case, there was no periodontal disease and once the hooks and ETRs were reduced, he was able to grind his food properly. With regular floating, we can prevent any further damage.