There may be occasions where the initial dental examination reveals a more serious problem in the mouth of a horse. Often dental problems will lead to noticeable signs: the horse having difficulty eating or swallowing, a discharge from one or both nostrils, or foul smelling breath. However, if a problem is seen on a routine dental examination, it is always better to deal with that problem before other signs of disease are seen – prevention is always better than cure.
Such problems can include an infection of the tooth root, a fractured tooth, a tooth that is growing in the wrong direction, or food packing into spaces between the teeth. Your dental practitioner will be able to advise you on the appropriate course of action. They may wish to refer the case on to a veterinary facility for further investigation. It may be that the problem can be treated in the standing, sedated horse, but occasionally dental disease can necessitate complicated surgery under general anaesthesia and hospitalisation.