We currently have three horses who recently got their teeth done.
Two of them, had tooth problems....
Chocky - our new (for a few moths now) seven year old, and Golley, who is 22 and been with us for 10 years.
Chocky had a tooth missing in the back. Here, I will let my mom explain it because I don't know how to: these are in her words:
"There was no opposing tooth for the lower tooth to wear against, causing the tooth to continue erupting with no wear. The end result was one tooth around a half inch longer than the rest - like a hill in a roller coaster. This made it painful for the horse to chew and impossible to do the correct grinding action or allow full motion of his lower jaw. Somehow he was able to keep weight on & was still incredibly willing - despite the pain he must have been in. He did start losing his beautiful tail hair, most likely due to nutrition deficiency because he couldn't eat correctly. This all could have been avoided if his dental care had been kept regular and/or his previous owner had informed us about the missing tooth, which had obviously been extracted at a prior date."
Golley had a horrible tooth in the back. Horrible - it was hurting him to chew, to be ridden with a bit, and to even have a halter or show halter be put on because it would put pressure in the side of his cheek, where it hurt.
So because of his rotten tooth, that was the reason for the huge weight loss and horrible riding, and most likely some of his stiffness in his joints from not getting the right nutrition. So he actually still might be rideable, but we are waiting for a few weeks to see. But even if he would be able to, It wouldn't be very often.
Another issue Golley had as to why he wouldn't listen and would continuassaly ride back to the gate and stop, is because the bit and cheeckpieces were bugging him and he was in pain the whole time - but before his teeth looked fine. But the tooth that bothered him also made him not listen. And at fair, his tooth was most likely hurting quite a bit, because When my mom adjusted his halter he reared up and backed away. But when she adjusted his halter then it pur pressure on his tooth.
But the tooth was pulled and now hopefully we will see a change in his behavior and health.
So, please make sure to check your horses teeth, because even though it may not seem like such a big deal to some people, it is. It really is.
I thought I ought to share this with everyone and let them know a few causes of bad teeth :)