You may not recognize what crossbite is until you or a family member has been diagnosed with one. There are two types of crossbites that often lead to pain in the jaws, TMJ and other issues such as gum recession and loss of teeth. The good news is that the side effects of crossbites can be addressed since crossbites are treatable.
What is Crossbite?
Crossbite happens when there is a misalignment between your upper and lower teeth as you close your mouth. There are generally two types of crossbites: posterior and anterior crossbites. A posterior crossbite happens when the upper teeth fall inside your lower teeth on one side when you bite down. An anterior crossbite is similar to an underbite and occurs when the top front teeth fall behind the lower front teeth when you bite down.
What are the Main Causes of Crossbite?
Crossbites may be caused by hereditary reasons, delayed tooth eruption or an abnormally erupted tooth. Crossbites may occur if the lower jaw bone is wider than the upper jaw bone. This results in a misalignment of the upper and lower jaw. Crossbites in children may result when normal tooth eruption– where baby teeth come out and are replaced by adult teeth– is delayed. Crossbites may stem from permanent teeth growing in before all the baby teeth have fallen out. When there is an abnormal eruption of the new teeth, they may not grow in place properly which results in misalignment problems. Most of the time crossbites are a result of genetics. If a parent had issues with their bites, it increases the chance of their children having issues with a crossbite too.
How Do You Treat Crossbite?
Most dental professionals would agree that the best time to correct a crossbite is during childhood or the teenage years. The earlier the crossbite is diagnosed and treated, the better. Most crossbites are corrected by adjusting the teeth or jaw using orthodontic treatments and appliances. Popular methods of correction include:
- A palatal or maxillary expander that gradually widens the upper palate.
- A removable expander that adults may wear at night-time.
- Surgical intervention where the jaw bone is strategically broken and then customized devices are used post-surgery to help widen the upper palate.
The best place to start is to consult your orthodontist about crossbite correction and treatment options available to you and your family. Our expert Charleston County orthodontist and highly trained staff at Reese Orthodontics are eager to join you on the journey to a healthier and happier smile. To request your appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontist Dr. Reese, please contact us.