Canine teeth are also called “upper eye teeth” or “cuspid teeth.” They are necessary for biting food and aligning the entire jaw.

Canine teeth are the second most common teeth to become impacted (wisdom teeth are the most common).

60% of impacted canine teeth emerge behind the other teeth in the roof of the mouth. The other 40% of impacted canines emerge above and in front of the other teeth. Sometimes they stick outward towards the lip.

If the dentist or orthodontist sees missing adult teeth, they will look for the reasons. They may find that something is blocking the eyetooth or that the other teeth are crowding it.

If a cuspid tooth becomes impacted, it must be helped to emerge. Treatments may include:

  • Orthodontic treatment: braces can be used to move teeth so that there is space for the canine teeth to emerge.
  • Surgical treatment: our Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons may be required to extract teeth to make room. We may extract baby teeth that have remained in the mouth for too long. Or, we may need to extract adult teeth to make room for the canines.

For more information about impacted canine teeth, check out our video gallery

Impacted canine teeth can cause problems with your teeth and gums beyond the canine teeth. Malpositioned canine teeth can resorb or eat away at the roots of the teeth next to it – usually the permanent lateral incisor. If the canine tooth is left untreated, this damage can progress to the point where they are unrestorable and vulnerable to tooth loss. In some cases impacted canine teeth can be due to an abnormal growth such as a tumor or cyst. If left untreated, the impacted teeth and surrounded area can become infected, swollen, and painful. They can also weaken the jaw, prevent normal dental function and place uncomfortable pressure on the surrounding teeth and structures. This is why it is essential to have impacted canine teeth treated.

The amount of time it takes to bring down an impacted canine tooth depends on each patient. Some patients see their impacted canine teeth properly erupt after a few months, while other patients take over a year for the canine teeth to properly come in.

Canine teeth can become impacted for a number of reasons. In order to get an accurate explanation as to why your canine teeth are impacted you will need a dental examination. The most common reasons for impacted canine teeth are:

  • Overcrowding of the teeth: When your front teeth are overcrowded due to misalignment or other reasons, there may not be enough room for your canine teeth to properly erupt.
  • Extra teeth: Some people are born with extra teeth, which can block your canines from erupting.
  • A growth on your gums: While cysts and tumors are not very common, they can block your canine teeth from coming in.

If you or a family member have impacted canine teeth, contact us today.