Incisors: front teeth, just inside the lips, used to grasp, nip and pull grass (and to bite you!)
Premolars: first three sets of large cheek teeth, top and bottom jaws, used for grinding.There is a full deciduous set followed by a full permanent set.
Molars: second three sets of large cheek teeth, top and bottom jaws, used for grinding. There are no deciduous molars, they erupt as permanent teeth.
Deciduous: “baby” teeth. They are replaced by permanent teeth.
Permanent: “adult” teeth. They are intended to remain for the horse’s life.
Arcade: refers to a row of teeth (ie: there are four arcades of cheek teeth and two arcades of incisors)
Occlusion: the contact points of opposing teeth; occlusal surface refers to the chewing or biting surfaces.
Malocclusion: abnormal contact between opposing teeth
“In Wear”: the point in time when opposing teeth have reached sufficient height above the gumline to grind against one another
Eruption: the movement of the tooth crown out from the bone of the jaw into the mouth.
Shedding Caps: the loss of expired baby teeth as the new permanent teeth erupt to take their place.
Cheek teeth: a general term used to indicate all the grinding teeth, the premolars and molars.
Crown: the portion of the tooth that gradually erupts into the mouth and is used for grinding, not the root.
Mastication: the act of chewing or grinding food.
Cap: horseman’s term for a baby tooth as it sits in place on the permanent tooth ready to erupt.