Watch for these 7 signs, and remember to schedule oral exams at least once a year. 

What are the signs your horse might be experiencing dental pain, either from recurrence of sharp enamel points and cheek/tongue ulcerations or from more overt dental disease such as loose/decayed teeth? 

  • Evading the bit. 
  • Eating hay or grain slowly or dropping feed. 
  • Head or mouth shyness. 
  • Evading the bit or having difficulty maintaining a connection. 
  • Differences between acceptance of left and right rein contact. 
  • Withdrawn or asocial behavior. 
  • Standing over the water trough or dipping his or her face in the water. 

Most horses should receive a thorough sedated oral exam, plus any necessary care, at least once per year. Horses younger than 5 or older than 20 likely need exams twice per year.