Yes! Your horse can get cavities just like you can…..kind of! Horse’s teeth have much the same composition as yours do and those tooth structures can decay when organisms enter the tooth through damage to the enamel surfaces. The advantage horse’s have is that their teeth are erupting continuously throughout their life….so if the caries develop slower than the rate of tooth decay, sometimes the cavities are literally worn off before they cause permanent damage to the tooth integrity. When Rich does his comprehensive dental exam on your horse, he often notes that they have “caries” and then will let you know if those caries need treated now or can be watched. Just like in humans, untreated dental caries can lead to weakening of the tooth structure, fractures of the teeth, and dental infections. Because horses chew many, many more hours of the day than we do and because their natural chewing pattern is to grind their teeth across each other (not chomp up and down like us!), having a “hole” in the center of their tooth weakens the structure a lot! Advanced Equine Dentistry regularly completes composite dental fillings to preserve those teeth and to try to prevent tooth loss. As our horses are living longer and longer life spans, saving a tooth and keeping their teeth functional longer is a great help in keeping them healthy.