Most people know someone who has a crossbite, or at least you have heard of the term crossbite. But do you actually know what it means to have a crossbite? If left untreated crossbite can cause jaw pain, TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction), receding gums and loose teeth. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available depending on your needs.

What’s a Crossbite?

If you are diagnosed with crossbite, chances are pretty good that your parents also had problems with their bite. Crossbite is frequently genetic and may have been inherited. However, in children, it may be caused from permanent teeth growing in before the baby teeth have fallen out. When that happens, the new teeth may not grow in the proper place and cause a misaligned bite. So crossbite is actually just like it sounds — your top and bottom teeth are not aligned and cause a misaligned bite. There are a couple of kinds of crossbites and both are treatable. When your upper teeth fall inside your lower teeth on only one side when you bite down, you have a posterior crossbite. If your top front teeth fall behind your lower front teeth when you bite down, you have an anterior crossbite.

Crossbite Complications

Complications can occur when crossbite is not treated. In some people it may cause headaches from tension and stress on your jaw muscles or from grinding your teeth. Other health issues may be loss of teeth or receding gums, or it can even affect how your face or jaw grows.
It’s important to recognize symptoms early to prevent future complications. Check with your dentist if you suffer from any of the above symptoms for a complete examination. Your dentist can identify the issue and help you decide what treatment is best for you.

Crossbite Treatments

Treatment is available at any age; however, most dentists will agree that it’s best to begin treatment as a child or teenager. If you are diagnosed, you would want to begin treatment as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your teeth. To correct your crossbite your teeth or jaw will need to be adjusted by use of orthodontic treatments and appliances. Although each case is different, there are several options available. Some of the frequently used treatments are maxillary expanders, removable expanders, braces or in some extreme cases surgery may be required. These options are not meant as recommendations, it’s only to tell you what treatment might consist of. You’ll need to check with your dental professional to advise you what treatment is best for you or your children. Your dentist might recommend a combined treatment of expanders and braces. The expanders are needed to add extra space between your teeth to help align your bite. There are some removable expanders available for adults that can be worn only at night. Talk with your dental professional if you suspect crossbite. If left untreated, you’ll probably suffer other dental and health issues in the future.

Always discuss your concerns with your dentist. Follow his or her advice to achieve the best results for a bright, happy, and healthy smile.

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About Tri-State Family Dentistry

Tri-State Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care possible. Being privately owned since 2009, we don’t experience the corporate pressure that other dental practices have to hit certain revenue numbers. You will never be ‘sold’ dentistry at Tri-State Family Dentistry. After we explain your treatment options, you can make your own decisions.