Caps And Cap Remnants In Young Horse Teeth

Geoff Tucker, DVM FAQ - Advanced Leave a Comment

24 Caps In 2 Years

In terms of horse teeth, caps are what we humans call our baby teeth. Technically, they are called deciduous teeth because they fall of like leaves of a deciduous tree. They sit like a cap on your head over the permanent tooth erupting below it. They are located over the incisor teeth (also known as the nippers directly behind the lips – 6 on top and 6 on the bottom) and the premolars (the first 3 cheek teeth counting from the front to the back – top and bottom, both sides = 12 teeth). Between the age of 2 and 1/2 until almost 5 years of age, these caps are jettisoned from the mouth.

Hanging Caps, Broken Caps, Cap Remnants All Can Cause Discomfort
Often, the break away from the mouth is uneventful. However, on occasion, two problems can occur. First is during the maturation, the tooth loosens but does not come off. The tell tale sign is a foul odor coming from the young horse’s mouth. Second is an attachment of the cap breaks off leaving a hard piece located between the permanent tooth and the gum (like a kernel of pop corn stuck between your tooth and gum). This can become a source of localized infection and pain and must be removed. They are more easily discovered with fingers than with eyes.

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