Dental impaction can be a fairly serious problem, and while it is usually the back molars (normally the wisdom teeth) that suffer from this common condition, occasionally your canines can also become impacted. Having dental impaction can not only negatively influence your appearance; it can also give you problems with eating and comfort. When your teeth become impacted, it means that they are not able to fully erupt. We here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry understand how painful impacted canines are, and we can help you relieve the discomfort of your impaction in our office.
What Do I Need to Know about Impacted Canines?
Your permanent teeth start to grow in right around when you turn six years old and will continue to grow in throughout your adolescence. When you turn 13, however, you can start to expect your canines – also known as your maxillary cuspids or eyeteeth – to arrive. Sometimes, though, these teeth never erupt. In over half of the cases of impaction, the canine will sometimes appear on the upper palate, behind your teeth. When this happens, we will need to work to extract it surgically.
Signs of an impacted canine can vary but may include pain at the site, including red or swollen gums. The area may bleed. You may have problems opening and closing your mouth. An infection may develop, and you may start to notice a bad taste in your mouth and halitosis (bad breath). Eating and talking may become difficult, too.
Your canine can become impacted by a variety of reasons. One major reason this can happen is due to the presence of too many teeth (also known as supernumerary teeth). If your teeth are overcrowded, there may be no place for the canine to erupt. There may be another tooth blocking it, as well, preventing it from erupting. Another reason that a canine may become impacted is the presence of an abnormal growth, such as a mass or a tumor. If this is the case, the growth may need to be removed first before we can see about exposing your impacted canine.
If we suspect that you have an impacted canine, we will start with a careful examination of the affected site. From there, we will then take a set of X-rays (usually a panoramic or an individual X-ray) to look closer at it. Once we are satisfied that we understand the degree of impaction, we may then recommend a course of treatment to help expose the impacted tooth.
Will You Need Oral Surgery?
Depending on the severity of the location and cause of the impaction, we may advise surgery to either expose or extract the tooth. Surgery to expose it includes sedating you, then cutting into the site to expose the tooth. We may advise that you wear braces to help adjust the surrounding teeth to make room for your impacted canine. We might also suggest completely extracting the tooth, or extracting it and moving it to another site in your mouth (known as a transplant).
If you suspect that you may have an impacted canine, or you are interested in learning more about this issue and how we here Tieken Smiles Dentistry can help our patients treat it, please give us a call at (281) 942-0444 today!