The objective of this study was to compare masticatory movements before and after dental treatment using kinematic analysis. The masticatory movements of 15 adult Warmblood horses with mild dental pathology chewing standardised hay were recorded on three consecutive days before and three times after (days 7, 21, 28) dental correction. The results of the leading mandibular tracking marker, located at the caudal edge of the inter-mandibular suture, were compared statistically. Reproducibility of measurements prior to dental treatment was excellent (P<0.05). Rostrocaudal mandibular motion was significantly reduced after dental correction (9±2mm vs. 8±2mm; P=0.046). Oscillations during the power stroke were significantly reduced after dental correction (R(2)=98.3%±0.3 vs. 98.8%±0.3; P=0.050). Although significant changes were observed in individual horses, the overall results of lateral and dorsoventral mandibular motion did not reveal significant differences. In conclusion, kinematic analysis of masticatory movements provided reproducible results and may be useful to evaluate changed movement patterns following dental correction.
Animals Biomechanical Phenomena Dental Care/veterinary* Female Horses/physiology* Male Mastication* Reproducibility of Results