In mammalian oral anatomy, the canine teeth, also called cuspids, dog teeth, or (in the context of the upper jaw) fangs , eye teeth, vampire teeth, or vampire fangs, are the relatively long, pointed teeth. They can appear more flattened however, causing them to resemble incisors and leading them to be called incisiform. They developed and are used primarily for firmly holding food in order to tear it apart, and occasionally as weapons. They are often the largest teeth in a mammal's mouth. Individuals of most species that develop them normally have four, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower, separated within each jaw by incisors; humans and dogs are examples. In most species, canines are the anterior-most teeth in the maxillary bone.
The four canines in humans are the two maxillary canines and the two mandibular canines.
There are four canine teeth: two in the upper (maxillary) and two in the lower (mandibular) arch. A canine is placed laterally to each lateral incisor. They are larger and stronger than the incisors, and their roots sink deeply into the bones, and cause well-marked prominences upon the surface.
The crown is large and conical, very convex on its labial surface, a little hollowed and uneven on its lingual surface, and tapering to a blunted point or cusp, which projects beyond the level of the other teeth. The root is single, but longer and thicker than that of the incisors, conical in form, compressed laterally, and marked by a slight groove on each side. The lingual surface also presents two depressions on either side of the surface separated by a ridge in between; these depressions are known as mesial and distal lingual fossae.
In humans, the upper canine teeth (popularly called eye teeth, from their position under the eyes) are larger and longer than the lower, and usually present a distinct basal ridge. Eruption typically occurs between the ages of eleven and twelve years. Occasionally they are congenitally missing.
From a facial aspect, maxillary canines are approximately one millimetre narrower than the central incisor. Their mesial aspects resemble the adjacent lateral incisors, while their distal aspects anticipate the first premolars. They are slightly darker and more yellow in color than the other anterior teeth. From a lingual aspect, they have well developed mesial and distal marginal ridges and a well-developed cingulum. A prominent lingual ridge divides the lingual aspect in half and creates the mesial and distal lingual fossae between the lingual ridge and the marginal ridges. From a proximal aspect, they resemble the incisors, but are more robust, especially in the cingulum region. Incisally, they are visibly asymmetrical, as the mesial incisal edge is slightly shorter than the distal incisal edge, which places the cusp slightly mesial to the long axis of the tooth. They are also thicker labiolingually than mesiodistally. Because of the disproportionate incisal edges, the contacts are also asymmetrical. Mesially, the contact sits at the junction of the incisal and middle third of the crown, while distally, the contact as more cervical, in the middle of the middle third of the crown.
The lower canine teeth are placed nearer the middle line than the upper, so that their summits correspond to the intervals between the upper canines and the lateral incisors. Eruption typically occurs between the ages of nine and ten years of age.
From a facial aspect, the mandibular canine is notably narrower mesiodistally than the maxillary one, even though the root may be just as long (and at times bifurcated). A distinctive feature is the nearly straight outline this tooth has compared to the maxillary canine which is slightly more bowed. As in the maxillary canine, the mesial incisal edge (or cusp ridge) is shorter than the distal side, however, the cusp is displaced slightly lingual relative to the cusp of the maxillary canine. Lingually, the surface of the tooth is much more smooth compared to the very pronounced surface of the maxillary canine, and the cingulum is noted as less developed.
With many species, the canine teeth in the upper or lower jaw, or in both, are much larger in the males than in the females, or are absent in females, except sometimes a hidden rudiment. Certain antelopes, the musk-deer, camel, horse, boar, various apes, seals, and the walrus, offer instances.
In non-mammals, teeth similar to canines may be termed "caniniform" ("canine-shaped") teeth.
Incisors are the front teeth present in most mammals. They are located in the premaxilla above and on the mandible below. Humans have a total of eight. Opossums have 18, whereas armadillos have none.
The premolars, also called premolar teeth, or bicuspids, are transitional teeth located between the canine and molar teeth. In humans, there are two premolars per quadrant in the permanent set of teeth, making eight premolars total in the mouth. They have at least two cusps. Premolars can be considered transitional teeth during chewing, or mastication. They have properties of both the canines, that lay anterior and molars that lay posterior, and so food can be transferred from the canines to the premolars and finally to the molars for grinding, instead of directly from the canines to the molars.
A malocclusion is a misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaws close. The term was coined by Edward Angle, the "father of modern orthodontics", as a derivative of occlusion. This refers to the manner in which opposing teeth meet.
Dorudon ("spear-tooth") is a genus of extinct basilosaurid ancient whales that lived alongside Basilosaurus 40.4 to 33.9 million years ago in the Eocene. They were about 5 m (16 ft) long and fed on small fish and mollusks. Dorudon lived in warm seas around the world. Fossils have been found along the former shorelines of the Tethys Sea in present-day Egypt and Pakistan, as well as in the United States, New Zealand, and Western Sahara.
The maxillary central incisor is a human tooth in the front upper jaw, or maxilla, and is usually the most visible of all teeth in the mouth. It is located mesial to the maxillary lateral incisor. As with all incisors, their function is for shearing or cutting food during mastication (chewing). There is typically a single cusp on each tooth, called an incisal ridge or incisal edge. Formation of these teeth begins at 14 weeks in utero for the deciduous (baby) set and 3–4 months of age for the permanent set.
The maxillary lateral incisors are a pair of upper (maxillary) teeth that are located laterally from both maxillary central incisors of the mouth and medially from both maxillary canines. As with all incisors, their function is for shearing or cutting food during mastication, commonly known as chewing. There are generally no cusps on the teeth, but the rare condition known as talon cusps are most prevalent on the maxillary lateral incisors. The surface area of the tooth used in eating is called an incisal ridge or incisal edge. Though relatively the same, there are some minor differences between the deciduous (baby) maxillary lateral incisor and that of the permanent maxillary lateral incisor. The maxillary lateral incisors occlude in opposition to the mandibular lateral incisors.
In human dentistry, the maxillary canine is the tooth located laterally from both maxillary lateral incisors of the mouth but mesial from both maxillary first premolars. Both the maxillary and mandibular canines are called the "cornerstone" of the mouth because they are all located three teeth away from the midline, and separate the premolars from the incisors. The location of the canines reflect their dual function as they complement both the premolars and incisors during mastication, commonly known as chewing. Nonetheless, the most common action of the canines is tearing of food. The canines often erupt in the upper gums several millimeters above the gum line. The canine teeth are able to withstand the tremendous lateral pressure caused by chewing. There is a single cusp on canines, and they resemble the prehensile teeth found in carnivorous animals such as the extinct Saber-toothed cat. Though relatively the same, there are some minor differences between the deciduous (baby) maxillary canine and that of the permanent maxillary canine.
The mandibular central incisor is the tooth located on the jaw, adjacent to the midline of the face. It is mesial from both mandibular lateral incisors. As with all incisors, its function includes shearing or cutting food during mastication, commonly known as chewing. There are no cusps on the tooth. Instead, the surface area of the tooth used in eating is called an incisal ridge or incisal edge. Though the two are similar, there are some minor differences between the deciduous (baby) mandibular central incisor and that of the permanent mandibular central incisor. The mandibular central incisors are usually the first teeth to appear in the mouth, typically around the age of 6-8 months.
The mandibular lateral incisor is the tooth located distally from both mandibular central incisors of the mouth and mesially from both mandibular canines. As with all incisors, their function is for shearing or cutting food during mastication, commonly known as chewing. There are no cusps on the teeth. Instead, the surface area of the tooth used in eating is called an incisal ridge or incisal edge. Though relatively the same, there are some minor differences between the deciduous (baby) mandibular lateral incisor and that of the permanent mandibular lateral incisor.
The mandibular canine is the tooth located distally from both mandibular lateral incisors of the mouth but mesially from both mandibular first premolars. Both the maxillary and mandibular canines are called the "cornerstone" of the mouth because they are all located three teeth away from the midline, and separate the premolars from the incisors. The location of the canines reflect their dual function as they complement both the premolars and incisors during mastication, commonly known as chewing. Nonetheless, the most common action of the canines is tearing of food. The canine teeth are able to withstand the tremendous lateral pressures from chewing. There is a single cusp on canines, and they resemble the prehensile teeth found in carnivorous animals. Though relatively the same, there are some minor differences between the deciduous (baby) mandibular canine and that of the permanent mandibular canine.
The mandibular second premolar is the tooth located distally from both the mandibular first premolars of the mouth but mesial from both mandibular first molars. The function of this premolar is assist the mandibular first molar during mastication, commonly known as chewing. Mandibular second premolars have three cusps. There is one large cusp on the buccal side of the tooth. The lingual cusps are well developed and functional. Therefore, whereas the mandibular first premolar resembles a small canine, the mandibular second premolar is more alike to the first molar. There are no deciduous (baby) mandibular premolars. Instead, the teeth that precede the permanent mandibular premolars are the deciduous mandibular molars.
The mandibular first molar or six-year molar is the tooth located distally from both the mandibular second premolars of the mouth but mesial from both mandibular second molars. It is located on the mandibular (lower) arch of the mouth, and generally opposes the maxillary (upper) first molars and the maxillary 2nd premolar in normal class I occlusion. The function of this molar is similar to that of all molars in regard to grinding being the principal action during mastication, commonly known as chewing. There are usually five well-developed cusps on mandibular first molars: two on the buccal, two lingual, and one distal. The shape of the developmental and supplementary grooves, on the occlusal surface, are describes as being 'M' shaped. There are great differences between the deciduous (baby) mandibular molars and those of the permanent mandibular molars, even though their function are similar. The permanent mandibular molars are not considered to have any teeth that precede it. Despite being named molars, the deciduous molars are followed by permanent premolars.
The dental arches are the two arches of teeth, one on each jaw, that together constitute the dentition. In humans and many other species; the superior dental arch is a little larger than the inferior arch, so that in the normal condition the teeth in the maxilla slightly overlap those of the mandible both in front and at the sides. The way that the jaws, and thus the dental arches, approach each other when the mouth closes, which is called the occlusion, determines the occlusal relationship of opposing teeth, and it is subject to malocclusion if facial or dental development was imperfect.
Dens evaginatus is a rare odontogenic developmental anomaly that is found in teeth where the outer surface appears to form an extra bump or cusp.
Dental anatomy is a field of anatomy dedicated to the study of human tooth structures. The development, appearance, and classification of teeth fall within its purview. Tooth formation begins before birth, and the teeth's eventual morphology is dictated during this time. Dental anatomy is also a taxonomical science: it is concerned with the naming of teeth and the structures of which they are made, this information serving a practical purpose in dental treatment.
Occlusion, in a dental context, means simply the contact between teeth. More technically, it is the relationship between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth when they approach each other, as occurs during chewing or at rest.
A cusp is a pointed, projecting, or elevated feature. In animals, it is usually used to refer to raised points on the crowns of teeth. The concept is also used with regard to the valve between the right atrium and the right ventricle in the human heart. This valve is closed during ventricular contraction by the tricuspid valve, so named because it usually consists of three cusps or leaflets.
This is a list of definitions of commonly used terms of location and direction in dentistry. This set of terms provides orientation within the oral cavity, much as anatomical terms of location provide orientation throughout the body.
Serial extraction is the planned extraction of certain deciduous teeth and specific permanent teeth in an orderly sequence and predetermined pattern to guide the erupting permanent teeth into a more favorable position.
This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1116 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)