SERRATED BITE

Not being a condition which had been identified in existing literature, serrated bite was first described by the author in 1989 and is a phenomenon that causes the molar chewing surfaces to develop a very regular serration across the chewing surfaces due to a diet predominantly containing short fibre, such as chaff, oats, pellets etc.  It is reasonably common in harness horses (trotting breeds) which are fed more chaff than hay to compensate for their intolerance to high protein hay diets.  Serrated bite or serrated mouth becomes more pronounced as the horse is stabled for a longer period.  The condition impedes chewing efficiency and chewing speed.  It makes the occurrence of feed impaction between the molar teeth more likely.  Sharpness is also more pronounced on the edges of the teeth and manifests itself as very sharp points which are likely to lacerate the cheeks and the tongue.  With the provision of more hay or long cut chaff and corrective treatment at normal intervals this condition can be successfully countered.
   

Copyright Peter Borgdorff 2008