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TMJ Joint Irritation/Damage Post-Dental Float

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  • TMJ Joint Irritation/Damage Post-Dental Float

    Does anyone have experience with TMJ problems developing immediately post-floating? What were your horse's symptoms? What treatment did you pursue? And did the horse make a full recovery?

    Thanks!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

  • #2
    Some horses are sore due to the mouth speculum, especially if they were open really wide, or for a long time with no rest. This is especially true if they already had some arthritis there. I know folks who schedule a chiro visit after floating for this issue.
    Unless something really unusual went wrong, I don't know why the horse wouldn't be fine in a couple of days.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

    Comment


    • #3
      A few years ago I had a horse develop pretty severe TMJ issues from a power float/speculum opened too wide and too long. Horse was fine before the float but literally could not turn left afterwards. Vet who did the float said, eh, I probably left the spec open wide for too long. She happily came back and injected the TMJ which solved the problem but the horse needed to be injected yearly for the rest of his show career. Never again will I let that happen! My horses are now floated the old fashioned way by hand--and not by THAT vet.
      Originally posted by EquineImagined
      My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Herbie19 View Post
        A few years ago I had a horse develop pretty severe TMJ issues from a power float/speculum opened too wide and too long. Horse was fine before the float but literally could not turn left afterwards. Vet who did the float said, eh, I probably left the spec open wide for too long. She happily came back and injected the TMJ which solved the problem but the horse needed to be injected yearly for the rest of his show career. Never again will I let that happen! My horses are now floated the old fashioned way by hand--and not by THAT vet.
        This sounds very similar to the situation I'm dealing with.

        I've been violating one of my cardinal rules for a couple years now and letting the vet do my horses' dental work. I know better than this. *facepalm*

        My 26 y/o with bad yet regularly maintained teeth was fine prior to floating. Now can't chew after floating-- can't eat grass, can't eat hay, not drinking much, been maintaining him on slurries of alfalfa pellet mush every few hours.

        Vet who floated him says keep him on NSAIDs and "we can re-do him in a few days if it doesn't get better." Got a second opinion via phone from my more trusted vet who knows the horse well. Second vet is a couple hours away and I have to trailer to their offices now that I've moved. Second vet is concerned about potential TMJ joint problems and wants to see him if he doesn't regain his ability to chew by tomorrow.

        I'm not really sure what the future holds at this point-- are his hay-eating days done? Is he going to need regular injections now? Or will this resolve on it's own with more time?
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

        Comment


        • #5
          What are his teeth like? If he is getting smooth mouthed and loose teeth then yes, his hay day might be over. It really depends on the horse. If the horse has never had TMJ issues before I doubt that is the issue. How long ago did this happen and what are you giving him for pain?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            His teeth are bad. He is missing 2 incisors and 3 molars. His occlusal surfaces were still decent prior to floating, yet with all the missing teeth he developed a pretty significant wave in the 6 months since last exam. He has never had TMJ issues prior, but the topic came up when his incisors began to deteriorate about a year or two ago.

            However, I stress, he was eating perfectly fine pre-floating. Which is why I'm very concerned (and frankly a bit miffed) if he can never eat hay again after a routine veterinary floating!

            It's been 36 hrs, he was originally on 1g bute, switched to 500 mg banamine q12 hr per original vet's recommendation. And saline mouth flushes twice a day, which he actually seems to really enjoy.
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Texarkana View Post

              I've been violating one of my cardinal rules for a couple years now and letting the vet do my horses' dental work. I know better than this. *facepalm*
              I still and always will use a vet for dental work--just not THAT vet! My current vet floats by hand and I've never had complications after, including the TMJ horse. He's now retired so it's hard to say if his TMJ issues are still there or not. He never had trouble eating/chewing--his issues were work related. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
              Originally posted by EquineImagined
              My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                His teeth are bad. He is missing 2 incisors and 3 molars. His occlusal surfaces were still decent prior to floating, yet with all the missing teeth he developed a pretty significant wave in the 6 months since last exam. He has never had TMJ issues prior, but the topic came up when his incisors began to deteriorate about a year or two ago.

                However, I stress, he was eating perfectly fine pre-floating. Which is why I'm very concerned (and frankly a bit miffed) if he can never eat hay again after a routine veterinary floating!

                It's been 36 hrs, he was originally on 1g bute, switched to 500 mg banamine q12 hr per original vet's recommendation. And saline mouth flushes twice a day, which he actually seems to really enjoy.
                When you say the incisors began to deteriorate a couple years ago, it makes me think he may actually have hypercementosis. Unless there was some trauma to those teeth. It's pretty rare for horses to loose incisors. That would point a bit less to the TMJ being an issue at all.

                I think it's a toss up if he will eat hay again. Missing 3 molars some horses will quid and others won't. If any more molars were disturbed during the float because of poor ligaments, which would of happened regardless of who floated him,, he may be on soaked food from here out.

                Give it a couple weeks and see.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Are you sure that this is a TMJ issue, and he didn't have a tooth damaged/loosened by the work, or get cut by the equipment?
                  As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Knew a horse that after being power floated for the first time, could not properly chew his hay, got an impaction colic, had to have surgery, and still had to eat a slurry six months later. This horse is in his late teens I believe. Finally had the chiro out who targeted the TMJ and horse visibly looked relieved after treatment and is slowly getting better at being able to chew. Luckily, not mine... But lesson learned vicariously - stick with traditional floating methods.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Had this happen once with one of my more petite TB mares. The dentist's assistant at the time was doing the work on her. The only thing we could figure is that becaues he had such big hands and fat arms, he kept the spec open too wide and for too long.

                      A few days of bute, and soaked feed/hay, she recovered just fine.

                      Since then my petite female dentist does her and releases the spec frequently during her dental work. Has never had a problem since.
                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, it took me 2 weeks to have a normal feeling TMJ after having a tooth pulled, and I don't have to use a speculum! I definitely could NOT chew normally for a while, so I can imagine that would happen to a horse.

                        Hopefully there isn't anything else,like a cut tongue or gums from the float...I would have the vet check to see if it's just soreness from the TMJ, and then find a good chiro and massage therapist to help loosen things up.
                        "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                          Now can't chew after floating-- can't eat grass, can't eat hay, not drinking much, been maintaining him on slurries of alfalfa pellet mush every few
                          IMO Sounds more like a response to overfloating. He already is missing 3 molars and so the teeth that oppose them are useless which amounts to 6 molars out of action. That's 25% of his chewing teeth gone. Now the floater says a wave has suddenly developed...which doesn't happen in geriatrics, his teeth erupt too slowly for a sudden wave compex popping up. The attempted fix is then to over grind the unopposed high teeth to reduce the "wave". Since the high teeth aren't opposed the pulping doesn't receed in these teeth as it would in a normal tooth. The living part of the tooth is closer to the surface. Overzealous grinding then exposes the living interior of the tooth and horse experiences symptoms like you've described. Once the swelling in his teeth goes down he may get back to eating if he still has enough occlusal surfaces.

                          Hypercementosis? " Nice smoke screen but it doesn't happen in molars. I think that's called baffle em with bulls**t.
                          http://www.traditionalequinedentistry.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What do you mean by "can't chew"- can't physically make the chewing motion? Or is chewing but is quidding everything?

                            This isn't because a vet did the float - this is because something else is going on. It may be something that vet did incorrectly, but trust me, more than one "dentist" has screwed up a horse's mouth

                            My vet has been going my horses' teeth as long as I've used her, which is about 23 years now. Everyone is always better in the end, and she's done wonderful magic on my OTTB mare who came to me with a terrible mouth and needing floating every 6 months for a couple of years. Now she's on about an 18 month schedule
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Update: vet checked him yesterday, sans speculum, and did not find any sharp points, cuts, or other problems with his teeth. I've felt his teeth myself, and while I'm no expert on teeth, he feels pretty "normal" for him. (A side note- I hate having to have "blind faith" in my dentists and vets when it comes to teeth... I really need to learn more in that area.)

                              He's coming around slowly. He is eating grass early yesterday and began eating hay yesterday night. He still seems like he's in a lot of pain when he chews hay and goes really slowly. But he's not quidding and he's finally chewing.

                              It's been stressful and frustrating, but it looks like he's recovering!
                              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Toothgrinder View Post
                                IMO Sounds more like a response to overfloating. He already is missing 3 molars and so the teeth that oppose them are useless which amounts to 6 molars out of action. That's 25% of his chewing teeth gone. Now the floater says a wave has suddenly developed...which doesn't happen in geriatrics, his teeth erupt too slowly for a sudden wave compex popping up. The attempted fix is then to over grind the unopposed high teeth to reduce the "wave". Since the high teeth aren't opposed the pulping doesn't receed in these teeth as it would in a normal tooth. The living part of the tooth is closer to the surface. Overzealous grinding then exposes the living interior of the tooth and horse experiences symptoms like you've described. Once the swelling in his teeth goes down he may get back to eating if he still has enough occlusal surfaces.

                                Hypercementosis? " Nice smoke screen but it doesn't happen in molars. I think that's called baffle em with bulls**t.
                                Thanks for the explanation! That makes very much sense!
                                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Toothgrinder View Post

                                  Hypercementosis? " Nice smoke screen but it doesn't happen in molars. I think that's called baffle em with bulls**t.
                                  If you would have bothered to read you would see that the horse is missing incisors also. [edit] hypercementosis can cause issues with the incisors. [edit]
                                  Last edited by Moderator 1; Mar. 22, 2013, 03:33 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by davistina67 View Post
                                    If you would have bothered to read you would see that the horse is missing incisors also. [edit hypercementosis can cause issues with the incisors. [edit]
                                    I understand your posts perfectly. EOTRH is a well understood process and is simple to recognize. If this geriatric had it, it would have caused problems pre-float. You only bring it up to confuse the issue and the owner. [edit]
                                    Last edited by Moderator 1; Mar. 22, 2013, 03:33 PM.
                                    http://www.traditionalequinedentistry.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Toothgrinder View Post
                                      I understand your posts perfectly. EOTRH is a well understood process and is simple to recognize. If this geriatric had it, it would have caused problems pre-float. You only bring it up to confuse the issue and the owner. [edit]
                                      Haha, the post was pretty straight forward. [edit]

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Please avoid the personal commentary and bickering and keep the focus on the main topic. We've edited a few recent posts.

                                        Mod 1

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