ISSN 2398-2977      

Wolf teeth

pequis

Introduction

  • Incidence: vestigial first premolar tooth usually found in the upper jaw of approximately 20-80% of horses, occasionally seen in the lower jaw. No deciduous precursor. 
  • Normally in contact with rostral cheek tooth arcade and rarely a problem unless displaced rostrally/medially or abnormally erupted. When unerrupted they are referred to as blind wolf teeth.
  • Signs: problems involving the bit are possible, though unproven.
  • Treatment: extraction is undertaken standing either under local/regional analgesia with appropriate restraint or sedation following elevation of the tooth.
  • Prognosis: good; partial removal of the tooth should be avoided but is not uncommon. Small alveolar root fragments are unlikely to be a long-term problem.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Found at different levels in different breeds but present in up to 80% of Thoroughbreds.

Pathophysiology

  • First premolar 1 ('wolf tooth'):
    • A vestigial tooth.
    • Variably present in horses.
    • Much more common in the upper jaw.
    • Usually bilateral.
    • Not usually symmetrical in position in relation to cheek teeth arcade.
    • Size varies.
    • Degree of eruption varies and determines their clinical significance.
  • The tooth is normally in contact with the rostral margin of the first maxillary cheek tooth and in this position rarely interferes with the bit.
  • If tooth is displaced rostrally (up to 2 cm) or medially to first cheek tooth (second premolar) or delayed/impacted in eruption (underneath gum) interference with the bit may be a problem. Tooth may come into contact with abnormal bit behavior, eg bit chewing.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Easley J (1998) Dental corrective procedures. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 14 (2), 414-416 PubMed.
  • Scrutchfield W L et al (1993) Examination of the oral cavity and routine dental care. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract (1), 123-131 PubMed.
  • Scott E A (1982) Surgery of the oral cavity. Vet Clin North Am Large An Pract (1), 3-31 PubMed.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code