When you hear the words "impacted canines," you might think about dogs barking and growling, because when they do that, you can definitely see their canine teeth. You might not know this, but you have canine teeth in your mouth as well - four teeth in all. Two of those canines are on the top and two more on the bottom. Canine teeth get impacted more commonly than any other teeth you have. If you aren't sure what impacted canines means, All About Orthodontics® be glad to give you more information about canine teeth, how they work, and what we can do to help when they get impacted.
What Are Canine Teeth?
Canine teeth are also called cuspids, and some people call them fangs, because of all of the teeth you have, they are the most pointy. Some people call canine teeth eye teeth. While that sounds weird, it's because these teeth are located just below your eyes. It doesn't really matter what you decide to call canine teeth; you need to know they are different from any other teeth in your mouth. The root system of a canine tooth is thicker and longer than any other teeth in your mouth. Researchers think that canine teeth are longer and thicker because your canine teeth need to be tough. They have to tear off chunks of hard to chew foods, like steak. Canine teeth are some of the last permanent teeth to come in.
What Happens When a Canine Tooth Gets Impacted?
Impaction doesn't mean infection - although that can sometimes happen. When we say a tooth is impacted, we mean that the tooth is stuck in your jawbone, or in your gums. Canine teeth can also be blocked by a different tooth, especially when you have overcrowded teeth. When a tooth is impacted, it can't erupt on its own. Because wisdom teeth can also get impacted, people think that you might be able to get your canine teeth removed without a problem. However, while you don't need your wisdom teeth, you do need your canine teeth to be able to bite and chew your food.
How Impacted Canines Are Treated
How we have to treat impacted canines depends on why your tooth is impacted. If your canine is impacted because teeth are blocking its way, we can extract a tooth, which gives your canine teeth room to erupt. It might also be that your canines can't erupt due to overcrowding. We could re-space your teeth, and that would give your canines the room they need to grow. Perhaps your teeth in either your upper and your lower jaw are not spaced well, and for that reason, we may use spacers or expanders to space your teeth out correctly. Once your teeth are spaced correctly, your canines can erupt.
If you are worried about your canine teeth, or you have questions, we can help. Why not give All About Orthodontics® a call at us at 586-999-8818 for Warren, MI location or at 734-999-4774 for Southgate, MI location? We would love to talk to you about all of the ways we have to make sure your teeth or your loved one's teeth have canines that are in their rightful place.