EQUUS - - Eq Medical Front -

Treat­ing den­tal dis­ease in horses of­ten re­quires fill­ing “pock­ets” that form along the gum line as well as spa­ces be­tween teeth. But re­searchers from Ger­many ad­vise cau­tion when us­ing ma­te­ri­als de­vel­oped for hu­man teeth to treat this equine oral prob­lem.

Work­ing at a lab­o­ra­tory in Jus­tus Liebig Univer­sity in Giessen, re­searchers tested the ef­fects of com­monly used hu­man den­tal ma­te­ri­als on equine pe­ri­odon­tium, the tis­sue that sur­rounds and sup­ports each tooth. Four ma­te­ri­als were an­a­lyzed: a paste de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for fill­ing pock­ets in gums, a tem­po­rary ce­ment used to af­fix crowns and bridges to teeth, a paste used for en­dodon­tic treat­ments (those in­volv­ing the softer in­ner tissues of teeth) and an im­pres­sion ma­te­rial used to pre­pare im­plants.

Al­though equine and hu­man teeth have sim­i­lar struc­tures, they are fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent in form and func­tion. “The equine teeth con­tin­u­ally erupt, so the pe­ri­odon­tium is si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­spon­si­ble for life­long tooth at­tach­ment and tooth erup­tion,” ex­plains Han­nah Ringeisen, DVM. “In hu­man teeth, the se­cond task (erup­tion) ends with the for­ma­tion of a com­plete den­ti­tion.”

For the study, each ma­te­rial was added to a petri dish that

Al­though equine and hu­man teeth have sim­i­lar struc­tures, they are fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent in form and func­tion.

con­tained pe­ri­odon­tium cells col­lected from a healthy year­ling horse. Af­ter 24 hours, the cells were ex­am­ined un­der a mi­cro­scope to look for changes in ap­pear­ance. The re­searchers also tested the cells for vi­a­bil­ity and signs of in­flam­ma­tory re­ac­tions.

The data showed that two of the ma­te­ri­als---the im­pres­sion ma­te­rial and the paste used for en­dodon­tic treat­ments---had se­vere cy­to­toxic ef­fects on the equine cells, sig­nif­i­cantly dam­ag­ing or killing them within the 24-hour pe­riod. Al­though a study in a clin­i­cal set­ting would con­firm the im­pli­ca­tions of th­ese find­ings, the re­searchers con­clude that the two prod­ucts “would most likely have harm­ful ef­fects” if used in a liv­ing horse. The other two ma­te­ri­als had no ob­served ad­verse ef­fect on the cells.

Ringeisen says that un­til ma­te­ri­als de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for fill­ing gum pock­ets and spa­ces be­tween equine teeth are de­vel­oped, it will be nec­es­sary to continue adapt­ing prod­ucts from hu­man den­tistry, but it’s im­por­tant to test their ef­fects on equine tissues first.

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