We already know why you are going to say. If one of us at Senestraro Family Orthodontics says that you have impacted canines, your mind shifts to a dog barking or growling. While the word canine does conjure up the image of a dog, you have canine teeth in your mouth - two on the bottom and two on the top. Canines are the most common teeth to get impacted. Not sure where your canine teeth are, or whether they might be impacted or not? We have information for you on canine teeth.
What Are Canine Teeth?
Canine teeth are also called cuspids. Some people call them fangs because they are pointier than other teeth. Other people call them eye teeth because they are usually found right below the eyes. The canine teeth are different from any other teeth in your mouth. That’s because of their root system. The roots of canine teeth are thicker than other tooth roots. Also, they usually have a longer tooth root than any other tooth in your jaw. Just like dogs and wolves have, the canine teeth are used to tear into tough foods, such as meat. The canine teeth are usually some of the last teeth to grow in and fall into place, around the beginning of puberty.
What Happens When a Canine Tooth Gets Impacted?
Many people think that an impacted tooth means that a tooth is infected. However, an impacted tooth is a tooth that is stuck. Sometimes a canine tooth is stuck because another tooth is blocking its way. Canine teeth can also just refuse to do their job. People think that like wisdom teeth, canine teeth can just be removed from the mouth. Wisdom teeth are third molars that people do not need, which is why they are removed. However, canine teeth are vital. They are critical to ensure a proper bite, and so people can bite into meat, fruits, and vegetables.
How Impacted Canines Are Treated
Canine impactions have to be treated to ensure your mouth works properly. Depending on what is causing the impaction, orthodontists have several options for treatment. If the canine tooth is impacted because there are extra teeth, making it difficult for it to work, the extra tooth may be pulled so the canine tooth can work properly. Also, canine teeth can be impacted because the teeth are overcrowded. When that happens, the orthodontist will re-space the teeth, usually with braces, to make sure that the impacted canine has room. Sometimes, brackets or appliances can be used to move and re-space teeth so the impacted canine can work.
It is really important that if you suspect a family member’s teeth are too crowded, or if one of your children has teeth that are crowded, you come and see us. We will be able to have a look at the teeth and determine if a canine tooth is impacted. The earlier we can see the teeth, the earlier and more quickly we can fix it so that your loved one does not have problems later. Please call Senestraro Family Orthodontics at (503) 446-5815. We would love to help you or someone you love to be able to use their canines all they want.