Your canine teeth are some of the most important members of your beautiful smile. They are essential for biting and tearing food, and they also guide your jaw into proper alignment. Upper canine teeth are the second most common tooth to become impacted, following wisdom teeth. An impacted tooth occurs when an emerging tooth is unable to erupt through the gums and into the proper position. 

An impacted upper canine tooth can cause serious issues if not treated in a timely manner. Impacted canines can cause tenderness and pain when eating or speaking. An impacted tooth can also lead to misalignment for the rest of your teeth. Misaligned teeth can lead to a variety of different issues, including uneven tooth wear, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, bruxism, and an increased risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. An impacted tooth may also harm the roots of neighboring teeth, or cause crowding for teeth that have already erupted. 

Why does canine impaction occur?

Canine impaction can occur for a variety of reasons. Children who are getting their permanent teeth can suffer from impacted teeth. An impacted tooth may occur when a baby tooth did not fall out on time or if something was blocking the tooth, like a cyst or extra teeth. Genetics play a role and having impacted teeth could be more likely if your parents had them, but for some people, they just happen for no known reason. 

How to treat impacted teeth?

In the case of treating impacted canine teeth before they’ve caused serious issues, early detection makes all the difference. That is why the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist for an exam by the age of 7. At this early stage, x-rays will show the potential for tooth impaction and allow early, proactive treatments that may eliminate the issue altogether. Sometimes, extracting a baby tooth is all that is needed to allow an impacted tooth the room to erupt. In other cases, the jaw may need to be widened, or other teeth may need to be adjusted to accommodate the impacted tooth. 

At Reuland and Barnhart Orthodontics, we want to make it as easy as possible for our patients to receive the orthodontic care that they need when they need it. In cases like impacted canine teeth, time is truly of the essence. That is why we offer a complimentary consultation to any new patient. We will help you assess your unique orthodontic needs and make recommendations based on what we discover. Give our office a call today, or check out our website here to schedule your complimentary first visit. 

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