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In the context of a study of Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (EOTRH), elderly Icelandic horses were examined in their originating country. The subject of this survey was the impact of dental treatment and keeping and feeding management on the health of the rostral oral cavity.


A total of 170 horses (aged ≥ 15) located in different areas of Northwest, West, and South Iceland.


The horse owners completed a questionnaire about keeping, feeding, and preventative dental care. The horses were clinically examined with particular attention to gingival and dental disorders of the rostral mouth, such as gingivitis, fistula, gingiva retraction, enlargement of the roots and dental calculus as well as integrity of incisors, bite angle, and tooth mobility.


Most of the horses were kept on pasture all year with little supplementary feeding. The frequency of dental treatment in Iceland was low. Only a few horses were affected by tooth loss, gingivitis, gingival recession, and incisor calculus. Calculus occurred more frequently and more severely in canines than in incisors. The findings did not depend on the location of the horse.


Assuming that the remarkable health of the rostral oral cavity in elderly Icelandic horses was not caused by preventive dental care, it is likely that it was due to living conditions in Iceland. Continuity, intensity of chewing, and nativeness of forage might promote the health of incisors and tissue surrounding the tooth even in elderly horses.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

rostral oral health: a study of horses in Iceland . J Am Vet Med Assoc . 2023 ; 261 ( suppl 2 ): S108 – S113 . doi: 10.2460/javma.23.06.0303 14. du Toit N . Advances in dental management in the equine geriatric patient: strategies for improved

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association