These small teeth usually erupt between birth and 18 months of age, but have no known function in the horse!
They usually sit just in front of the upper cheek teeth, though very occasionally we do see wolf teeth in the lower jaw. They are extremely variable in size, varying from small pegs only a few millimetres in diameter, to having roots up to 2 cm long.
It is impossible to guess the size of the tooth from it’s crown, but if the tooth is wobbly it is unlikely to have a large root. Some wolf teeth may be displaced, lying at an angle, or may even be sitting underneath the gum line as “blind” teeth. Wolf teeth should not be confused with the much larger canine teeth which are positioned further forward in the mouth.
Sometimes, wolf teeth are shed when the first deciduous (baby) cheek tooth is lost, and sometimes they are knocked out or damaged during routine dentistry. It is commonly believed that wolf teeth cause problems with some horses when they are bitted. This can certainly be the case if the teeth are sharp or displaced, though studies have shown that the bit actually sits nearer the lower teeth than the upper ones