What Causes Impacted Canines And Why You Should Consider Extraction?

Impacted canines can be quite a bother — and quite a pain too, if not attended to immediately.

But what exactly are impacted canines and when should you contact oral surgeons in Alexandria VA to consider an extraction?


Impacted canines or teeth are teeth that do not grow in its correct position — specifically if it grew below the mouth’s normal gum line.

There are different types of impacted tooth — unerupted (or a tooth that remains “buried” under the gums), partial (when only part of the impacted tooth is visible from the mouth) and third molars (more commonly known as wisdom tooth).

Specifically, an impacted canine happens when your canine teeth — the teeth in your upper and lower jaw, known as the “pointier” teeth or the “fangs” — grow in the wrong position.

Impacted teeth, in general, can be caused by a number of things — most commonly tooth overcrowding and unusual growths.

Sometimes, a dentist can leave an impacted tooth alone if they do not hinder your teeth and mouth health. But dentists find it imperative to correct impacted canines because they are very important in terms of function, as they are the ones doing most of the work when you chew your food when you eat.


Impacted teeth can lead to several problems — both minor and serious mouth issues.

For starters, when you have an impacted tooth, it means the teeth in your mouth are not aligned. This could impede the function of your teeth and affect the appearance of your mouth in general — depending on the level of impaction.

But other than its effect on the appearance and aesthetic of your teeth, impaction can also lead to other mouth and teeth health problems.

Impacted teeth can cause decay and infection (because impaction can prevent you from properly cleaning your teeth, hence leading to plaque buildup which causes tooth decay and infection). Plaque buildup can also lead to gum infections and dental cysts.

In many cases, the best way to correct impacted canines is to extract them.

Why you should consider extraction?

In some cases, if your impacted canines are not corrected, they can grow behind other teeth — specifically, in the roof of your mouth. Impacted teeth try to find paths into your mouth, so they are likely to damage nearby teeth. If the impacted canine is likely to damage other teeth, extraction is the best treated for it; letting it be can cause further infection and problems, after all.

As an adult, when an extraction is done to an impacted canine, you may be given orthodontic brackets for your teeth to guide your teeth into its proper position.

It can be very scary to go to a dentist when you are experiencing tooth problems. But prolonging your teeth agony can only make the problem worse. When you feel you have impacted canines —particularly when you have swelling and tenderness in your gums, bad breath, and jaw ache, among other symptoms — it is best to consult oral surgeons in Alexandria VA to see how the problem can be fixed.

At Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery, we provide top-quality care for the simplest and most complex cases. Contact us today and book an appointment with one of our oral surgeons in Alexandria VA.