When your teeth alignment is incorrect, you may get diagnosed with a crossbite. This dental condition indicates one or more of the top teeth sitting behind the bottom ones. Suffering from this issue can lead to various other dental issues and problems in biting, chewing, and digesting food properly. Fortunately, there are diagnostic treatments for people of all ages, from children to adults, to relieve them of this issue so they can normally eat without pain.
A similar dental condition to a crossbite is an underbite. Dental malocclusion is what hosts these two types of problems. The distinction between crossbite and underbite lies in the fact that the former affects a group of teeth, whereas the latter affects them all. Your dental professionals can help you relieve the pain and misaligned teeth through various solutions. Keep reading this post to find out detailed information about this condition and ways to correct it.
What does crossbite mean?
When one or more of your lower teeth cover the upper one, it means you have a crossbite. Simply put, when you close your mouth, if your jaws align and fold over each other, you have a healthy dental condition. However, if your teeth don’t fit over each other on closing your mouth, it is a crossbite situation. In this case, the entire lower teeth group fits in front of the top teeth. Crossbites are of two kinds that we will study now.
The two classifications of crossbite are as follows:
● Anterior crossbite
Commonly known as an underbite, this problem affects the upper front teeth. The front teeth on the bottom stick out more than the upper ones. This condition may affect the appearance of your jaw and chin, making them look abnormal. Orthodontic care can treat this condition. However, in extreme cases, surgery might also become necessary to restore the jaw to its normal position.
● Posterior crossbite
The back teeth positioning gets hurt by a posterior crossbite. It refers to improper bite at the back of the teeth. Particularly, the back bottom teeth (premolars and molars) stick out further than the top bottom teeth. This crossbite can occur either on one or both sides of the mouth. The causes of both anterior and posterior crossbites are similar.
Issues caused by a crossbite
Crossbite isn’t just a cosmetics issue. It may also lead to the following symptoms that might be painful to experience, especially for an adult facing the ongoing crossbite:
- Jaw and teeth pain
- Tooth decay
- Speaking difficulties or challenges in making some sounds
- Frequent headaches
- Pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles
- Sleep Apnea
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ disorders)
- Modifying jaw and lip appearance to seem abnormal
- Abnormal facial developments
- Wear on the teeth
Causes of a crossbite
A crossbite usually happens due to the following reasons:
● Genetic causes
These causes pertain to the skeletal and dental conditions inherited in genes. Physical features, jaw structure, and teeth alignment are inherited traits from parents and grandparents that may cause a crossbite.
● Development causes
Further, there are reasons occurring during dental development that may lead to a crossbite, such as:
- Losing the baby’s teeth too early
- Thumb-sucking as a child
- Mouth breathing
- Prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle
- Growing the adult teeth
Ways to correct a crossbite
The following ways can be implemented to fix a crossbite occurring due to any reason:
1. Invisible aligners
Through an experienced orthodontist, getting invisible aligners can be highly effective and reliable in resolving the issue. Aligners create a barrier between the teeth, pushing them back to the normal position. These are the easiest appliances that can be used to fix a crossbite in adults. These clear aligners are invisible, so your smile doesn’t get disrupted. Also, teeth cleaning is easier with these, thereby maintaining healthy oral hygiene.
Crossbites and underbites can be treated effectively with metal or ceramic braces. Brackets, wires, and bands create this appliance to become a fixed orthodontic treatment. The metal or tooth-colored brackets are glued to the teeth with a wire running through them. A calculated force in the wire of the braces pushes the teeth to the desired position. This is an easy, effective, and affordable treatment option accessible for both adults and children.
3. Palate expander
The upper palate of your mouth gets extended through the palate expander. It helps fit the lower teeth perfectly when the upper jaw gets raised. Since teenagers and kids are in the development phase, it’s suitable to use this expander on them to raise their jaws. In adults, this option is used for minor purposes.
4. Jaw realignment surgery
In case the crossbite is severe, the orthodontist might also require undertaking a jaw realignment surgery to correct the jaw position of the patient.
A crossbite can be painful to bear both as an adult and as a child. So, getting it checked and receiving appropriate treatment on time is necessary to relieve yourself from the pain.