• horse;
  • dental disease;
  • apical cheek teeth infections;
  • equine dental surgery


Of 400 horses referred because of equine dental disease, 162 suffered from primary apical infections of their cheek teeth (CT), including 92 with maxillary CT infections and 70 with mandibular CT infections. Maxillary swellings and sinus tracts were more common (82 and 26% incidence, respectively) with infections of the rostral 3 maxillary CT, than with infections of the caudal 3 maxillary CT(39 and 5% incidence, respectively). Nasal discharge was more commonly present with caudal (95%) than rostral (23%) maxillary CT infections. Mandibular CT apical infections commonly had mandibular swellings (91%) and mandibular sinus tracts (59%) and these infections were closely related to eruption of the affected CT. A variety of treatments, including medical treatment, apical curettage, repulsion and oral extraction of affected teeth were utilised in these cases, with oral extraction appearing to be most satisfactory. Infections of caudal maxillary CT with a secondary paranasal sinusitis were most refractory to treatment, with a complete response to the initial treatment achieved in just 33% of these cases. Most other cases responded fully to their initial treatment. The long-term response to treatment was good in most cases.