What is an Impacted Canine, And What Happens If It’s Left Untreated?

Maintaining optimal dental health is essential for a confident and radiant smile. While common dental issues like cavities and gum disease often take center stage, it’s crucial not to overlook less-known problems, such as impacted canines.

An impacted canine occurs when a vital tooth fails to emerge correctly through the gum line into its designated position. If left untreated, an impacted canine can lead to more serious complications.

At Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX, we understand the significance of addressing impacted canines promptly. In this post, we will explore how impacted canines form, the potential consequences of leaving them untreated, and the importance of early intervention for successful treatment.

How Does an Impacted Canine Form?

An impacted canine can form due to various factors, making it a common dental issue. Some of the primary causes include:

Insufficient Space

The dental arch may not allow the canine tooth to emerge correctly, leading to impaction.


When the teeth are crowded, the canine tooth may not have enough space to find its way into the dental arch.

Abnormal Growth

Occasionally, the canine tooth may develop in an abnormal position, making it challenging to erupt naturally.

Genetic Predisposition

Impacted canines may have a hereditary component, as certain families are more susceptible to this condition.

What are the Potential Consequences of Leaving an Impacted Canine Untreated?

Leaving an impacted canine untreated can lead to a host of dental and oral health problems, including:

Malocclusion and Bite Problems

Impacted canines can disrupt the natural alignment of the teeth, resulting in malocclusion or a misaligned bite, which may cause discomfort and difficulty chewing.

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

As the impacted canine attempts to emerge, it can exert pressure on neighboring teeth, leading to enamel wear, fractures, or even tooth damage.

Formation of Cysts or Tumors

In rare cases, impacted canines may give rise to cysts or tumors around the affected area, causing potential damage to the bone and surrounding teeth.

Gum Infections and Abscesses

The partially erupted impacted tooth can create pockets where food particles and bacteria accumulate, leading to gum infections or abscesses.

Aesthetic Concerns

Impacted canines can cause visible asymmetry and gaps in the smile, affecting an individual’s self-confidence and appearance.

How Can You Identify an Impacted Canine and When Should You Seek Treatment?

Identifying an impacted canine can be challenging without professional guidance. Some common signs to watch out for include:

Delayed Eruption

If the canine tooth fails to emerge beyond the typical age range, it may indicate impaction.

Pain and Discomfort

Impacted canines can cause pain, tenderness, or discomfort, especially while biting or chewing.

Swelling and Redness

The gum tissue around the impacted tooth may appear swollen, red, and sensitive.

Shifting Teeth

Impacted canines can cause neighboring teeth to shift as they attempt to fill the gap.

If you suspect an impacted canine or experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek professional evaluation and treatment promptly.

What Does Treatment for an Impacted Canine Typically Involve?

The treatment for impacted canines will depend on the severity of the impaction and the patient’s age. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our experienced team of oral surgeons may recommend one of the following treatment options:

Orthodontic Braces

In less severe cases, orthodontic braces can create enough space in the dental arch, allowing the impacted canine to emerge naturally.


Surgical extraction may be necessary if the impacted tooth is severely misaligned or causing significant issues.

Exposure and Bonding

For partially impacted canines, our oral surgeons can perform a procedure called “exposure and bonding,” which involves exposing the impacted tooth and attaching an orthodontic bracket to gradually guide it into its proper position.

Is Early Intervention Important for the Successful Treatment of an Impacted Canine?

Absolutely! Early detection and intervention are crucial for the most successful treatment outcomes. Seeking professional evaluation as soon as potential signs of impaction are noticed can prevent further complications and more complex procedures.

When Should You Consult with an Oral Surgeon for an Impacted Canine?

If you suspect an impacted canine or have noticed any related symptoms, it’s essential to consult with an oral surgeon for a thorough evaluation. At Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX, our team of experts is dedicated to providing personalized care and effective treatment for impacted canines.

Learn More

Don’t overlook the importance of your dental health, and if you suspect an impacted canine, reach out to Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX, for professional evaluation and treatment. Early intervention can prevent complications and restore your smile’s beauty and functionality. Let us help you achieve optimal dental health and confidence. Contact us today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile.

For personalized evaluation and treatment of impacted canines, schedule an appointment today with Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX! Visit our website at www.hillcountryoralsurgery.com or call us at 512-327-7233. Your smile deserves the best care!