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Medical Index
First Posted: Mar 25, 2013
Mar 25, 2013

Horse (Equine) Teeth Terminology

The following terminology appears in an article: Back to Basics: Equine Dental Terminology and Anatomy and will be beneficial to you when discussing the health of your horse's teeth.

  • ..."Rostral-located toward the front of the mouth (For example, incisors are positioned rostral to molars in horses' mouths)
  • Caudal-located toward the back of the mouth (For example, molars are positioned caudal to premolars in horses' mouths)
  • Mesial-located toward the midline of the mouth, or closer to the space between the first incisors (For example, horses' canine teeth are positioned mesial to their premolars)
  • Distal-located away from the midline of the mouth
  • Occlusal-located toward the occlusal (or chewing) surface of the tooth
  • Apical-located away from the occlusal surface and closer to the tooth roots
  • Labial-the surface of the incisors facing the lips
  • Buccal-the surface of the cheek teeth facing the cheek
  • Lingual-the surface of the lower teeth facing the tongue
  • Palatal-the surface of the upper teeth facing the palate
  • Interproximal space-the space between adjacent teeth in a row
  • Vestibule-the space inside the horse's mouth between the cheeks, lips, and teeth"...

Location of teeth:

  • "...The incisors are located at the front of the mouth, visible when you lift up the horse's lips. The permanent incisors initially have an infundibulum (a crescent-shaped depression in a tooth's crown) filled with cementum (the tissue that covers much of the visible portion of the tooth). Over time, the infundibulum wears away and disappears when the horse reaches about 15 years of age...
  • Canine teeth are located in the space between the incisors and the premolars, with the lower canines generally positioned more rostrally than the upper ones. Male horses generally have four permanent canine teeth, Griffin said; canine teeth often do not fully develop in mares, however, and might not erupt.
  • ...wolf teeth are located just mesial to the first cheek teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. Horses can have anywhere from four wolf teeth to none at all; however, it's common for horses to erupt one or two upper wolf teeth.
  • The most caudal group of teeth in an equine mouth are the cheek teeth. Three premolars and three molars make up each row...the cheek teeth are situated close together and form an angled occlusal surface. Similar to the incisors, upper cheek teeth have infundibulae that 'wear out' over time...leaving very sharp buccal and lingual tooth edges in senior horses." ...

For More Information:

Current Equine Dentistry
Equine Teeth
Equine (Horse) Teeth
Floating Teeth
Tips Picking Equine Dentist

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