Did you know that our canine teeth are also known as “eye teeth?” It may sound strange, but there’s a logical explanation for the nickname: the canines are simply aligned with the position of our eyes. Our canines are important for biting and guiding the rest of the teeth in position when you close your mouth. Canines also have the longest root compared to the rest of your teeth, making them the last to erupt. Sometimes canines fail to erupt properly, which causes problems for the capacity and appearance of your mouth.
An impacted canine simply means that the tooth has failed to erupt through your gums because it is blocked or stuck. Your canines are essential for the proper alignment of the rest of your teeth. Misaligned teeth can lead to a variety of different issues, such as bruxism, uneven tooth wear, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, and an increased risk of gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay.
Some causes of impacted canines include:
- Cysts: abnormal growths on the gums
- Overcrowding: when teeth are squished together from lack of space in the mouth
- Extra teeth: when an additional tooth occupies the space where the canine is supposed to erupt
- Ankylosed: when the canine tooth root is intertwined with the surrounding bone
There are some additional signs of an impacted canine to look for. This includes the presence of a palatal lump, the delayed eruption of the canine (usually after 15 years old), and the absence of a labial canine lump. If you are experiencing any of these signs, it’s possible that you have an impacted canine.
It’s recommended that children have a panorex x-ray done by the time they are 7 years old. An x-ray at this young an age will help determine possible risks, such as impacted canines, when it comes to future orthodontic treatment. Early detection of impacted canines is vital when it comes to optimal orthodontic treatment, since treatment will need to take on a less common form than patients without impacted canines. It is also important to note that the older the patient gets, the less likely the canines will erupt on their own.
After a panorex x-ray and a thorough examination of the patient’s teeth, the dentist will have a better idea of how to fix your impacted canines. A few options may be available, such as correction through orthodontic treatment, extractions, or surgery. The objective, of course, is to aid the eruption of the canines and guide them into their proper placement. This can be done by a dentist, an oral surgeon, or an orthodontist.
If you think you are experiencing impacted canines, set up an appointment with our office today. We will examine your teeth and get you started on a treatment plan that is right for you!