Saturday, January 16, 2010

Loose Teeth Be Gone!

Today was Dentist Day for a few of TREES' residents.  The team of Dr. Tracy Brown and Meredith Barlow, C/EqDT, paid a visit to Sherman, Mona, Nate, Delphi and Fitz.

Both Nate and Fitz need some attention, but will require a little advance planning.  More on them as we get them taken care of.

Delphi and Mona both had "routine" floats.  (In quotes because every horse is different, but meaning all they required was the removal of sharp points.)

Here, Mona is being "floated."  Note that the speculum is open only wide enough to allow Meredith to work.  It is not cranked all the way to its widest position.

Delphi had to give her opinion of the idea before even getting started.

But Sherman........Sherm needed a little extra attention.  Not surprisingly, Sherman had a few loose teeth.  We've heard from some owners of senior horses who were told to leave loose teeth in the mouth because the horse had so few to spare.  Aside from the discomfort that must cause, here is an excellent illustration of why that may not be a good idea.

These two teeth are shown exactly the way they came out of Sherman's mouth with little to no effort.  You can see no blood, no tissue, nothing that would indicate these teeth had any kind of physical attachment to the gum.  They were, more or less, just sitting in the socket.

The teeth are shown sitting on their chewing surfaces, roots pointing up.  Notice the green-ish material packed between what is left of the roots?  That is food that had worked its way under the tooth, between the tooth and gum.  This can cause irritation and enlargement of the pocket around the loose tooth.  If something as large as food particles can become lodged under the tooth, so can something as small as bacteria, leading to infection.  Untreated infection under and around a tooth can eventually lead or contribute to infection in the jaw bone itself, or even in the sinuses.

With all this in mind, our rule is "If its loose, its gone."

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