Unfortunately, not all teeth grow straight through the gums. Tooth impaction happens when a tooth grows sideways and has some trouble erupting. Whereas molars and wisdom teeth are the most common teeth that become impacted, even canine teeth can become impacted, too. When this happens, the tooth may appear to never erupt, or it may grow through the gums in awkward angles.
Usually, here at Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we find anxious parents who become concerned after we tell them that their child’s canine may be impacted. However, when this does occur, we do tell them not to worry. While impacted canines may be rare, it is not impossible to correct them when this issue does arise.
Why Tooth Impaction Occurs
Tooth impaction can usually happen when there is an overcrowding of the other adjacent teeth. These block the growing tooth from ever erupting. Usually, the tooth stays within the gums while the other teeth push it down. When this happens, canine teeth tend to grow sideways towards the spot where it is easier to push through as it grows.
The rate at which canine tooth impaction occurs mainly depends on genes. Some people tend to have thicker teeth, which block out other teeth by chance and keep them impacted. The surgical removal of primary canine teeth can prevent this. However, for many people, the teeth grow impacted before they can even see a dentist.
Are There Treatments to Impacted Canines?
Most treatments involving impacted canines tend to have a “wait and see” strategy. This is because the canines are still growing along with the other teeth. Only when they settle will we be able to tell if they even need intervention. In fact, some impacted teeth do not even need any form of intervention. This also goes for canine teeth.
Some impacted teeth can be left alone without any risk to the patient. Usually, these are teeth that have grown too deep and may not even touch the other teeth. At other times, they may be teeth that have grown a bit out of the gums but not in line with the gumline. This is called a partially impacted tooth and is harmless to the patient.
When impacted teeth do present a risk, however, we do try to surgically remove them. This often involves cutting through the gums in order to extract them. Depending on the case, we may also suggest a dental brace instead. This helps to align the canines along the gum line and make them look aesthetically better.
There are usually health benefits to removing impacted canines, although this always depends on a case by case basis. Some people may have impacted canines that affect the stability of other teeth. The worst-case scenario in this event would be that these impacted canines might cause other teeth to fall out or make small holes through the gums, in which bacteria could proliferate.
It is always better to have developing teeth checked for possible dental impactions. This is not limited to impacted canines, of course. Whether you may be concerned about the possibility of impacted teeth or you would simply like to schedule an appointment at our office, we can help you with a visit here at Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants. Please call us at (608) 960-7650 to schedule an appointment with us today.