Of the canine (Dens caninus) is in front of the premolar teeth and behind the incisors, whereby the name refers to the kink that the dental arch makes at this point.
The canine is also known colloquially as the "eye tooth", as inflammation causes pressure pain or redness under the eye.
Every person has a total of four canine teeth, which are in third position. In the anterior region, it is the largest tooth that can already be found in the deciduous dentition. The permanent canines then erupt around the age of 11, with the lower ones usually appearing before the upper ones.
The canine has a root in which a margin can be found. The root of the tooth is slightly flattened. A clear root feature is the opital curvature on the upper canine teeth. The roots of the upper canines are also longer than the lower ones.
Instead of a chewing surface, the canine has only one tip (also called the cusp tip), which has two incisal edges. The vestibular surfaces consist of two parts: a distal (rear) half and a mesial (front) half. These are separated by a mean line that runs vertically. Canines have a spherical shape and are slightly curved from the cutting edge to the neck of the tooth. The canine tip is not exactly in the middle, but is slightly shifted mesially.
The mesial incisal edge is shorter and steeper than the distal edge, and there are two marginal ridges and a central ridge on the back of the crown, which meet in a so-called tubercle (cusp). The upper canines are also larger than the lower teeth. In their case, the crown axis is also somewhat "bent", which is known as the "crown curse".
The canines form the transition between anterior and posterior teeth. Their job is to hold or tear up food. When biting off, the region of the canine is mostly used instinctively, as the tooth roots are particularly strong. In general, the canines are the strongest teeth in human teeth and act as a kind of "fangs" because they have an extremely pointed cutting edge.
The canines are often referred to as "dog teeth" because they are somewhat similar to the canines of dogs. Similar to dogs, the teeth are still used colloquially today as "threatening gestures". Various expressions such as "show your teeth", "feel your teeth" or "put a tooth down" are derived from this. Since severe tearing is no longer necessary due to the use of a knife and fork or due to the most varied types of food preparation, the canine teeth have receded over time.
The following dental diseases can occur in canines:
Caries is a disease of the two hard tooth tissues, dentin and tooth enamel. In the process, decalcifications are formed which are initially white, but can then turn dark. As long as tooth decay only affects the enamel layer, it can be remineralized. But if the caries penetrates the dentin, toothache occurs.
Pulpitis is an inflammation of the tooth pulp (pulp) caused by chemical, thermal and mechanical irritation. Those affected suffer from toothache; if the irritation persists, the inflammation can also become chronic. In the context of apical ostitis, the tip of the tooth becomes inflamed. This is a bacterial inflammation because bacteria get through the root canal to the tip of the root. Acute ostitis can be very painful, but sometimes the inflammation is pain-free. In addition, canines are often dislocated and retained, the reason for this being a rather late eruption time. In many children the bone is already solid and the neighboring teeth have also already erupted.
If there is a lack of space, these then take the place of the canine. In some cases, the tooth erupts outside the row of teeth, and very often it lies across the maxillary bone. Sometimes the canine is also very high in the jawbone, so that a relatively long way has to be covered before the tooth breaks through. A failure of canines, however, is extremely rare or not known. This occurs much more frequently with the wisdom teeth or with the incisors. In adults, displaced and retained canines are very often surgically removed; in adolescents, the tooth crown is often exposed. After the wound has healed, this is then adjusted with the help of a bracket or a so-called orthodontic device.
In some cases it is also necessary to stretch the upper jaw to create more space. Malformations also occur in connection with cleft lip and palate. Usually the cleft lip in the upper jaw runs between the second incisor and the canine, but malformations can lead to adhesions, partial fusions or fusions.
If the rows of teeth are closed, the lower or upper canine teeth touch each other and with chewing movements there is a gap between the lower and upper chewing surfaces, which is called "canine guidance". Especially with dentures such as bridges and crowns, it is necessary to restore this canine guidance. In the case of full dentures, however, no canine guidance is created, as the denture would otherwise tip.