More than 10 million Americans live with crossbite but have no idea! Crossbite is among the mildest forms of dental complications but this does not make it safe or bearable. A crossbite occurs when the upper set of teeth and lower set don’t quite fit as they should. This means that the top teeth bite inside the lower teeth when you clench your teeth. Ideally, the top set and bottom set should be in line when you clench your teeth and should not be misaligned.
Thanks to insufficient information on crossbites and similar complications, a lot of people try to live through with such conditions because they deem them harmless. Although they don’t affect the way you chew or talk that much, crossbites are serious complications and you should strive to get immediate medical care. So, how do you know that you have crossbite? What are some of the causes of crossbite? Should you be worried about mild forms of crossbite? What are some of the treatment options available for crossbite rectification?
How to detect crossbite
It can be difficult to detect crossbite from an early age unless it is very severe, it is difficult because up until the age of 10 to 15, teeth are not fully developed and unless you have swath knowledge in dentistry, it would be very difficult to detect any crossbite. To detect crossbite, all one needs to do is clench their teeth and if one or more teeth doesn’t match up in position to the corresponding tooth or teeth in the lower or upper jaw, then you need to be worried because that is a sign of crossbite. Alternatively, visit your dentist and let him/her examine your teeth and if there is any form of malocclusion they will easily detect and advise you on the best solution.
A lot of the crossbite cases seen today are down to genes and are therefore hereditary. A lot of research has been conducted to try and narrow down the exact causes of the malocclusions and all seem to point towards genes. There are other non-genetic causes that have been found to cause or accelerate the development of crossbite and these include abnormal eruption of teeth, delayed growth of teeth, mouth breathing and thumb sucking.
In delayed growth of teeth, one or more teeth in either jaw takes longer to grow and hence gets outgrown by the corresponding tooth on the opposite jaw. Over time, the balance becomes too large and they don’t match up in position anymore. Some teeth grow abnormally in that the lower jaw teeth are bigger and grow outwards while the upper jaw teeth are relatively smaller and are inward in position.
Habits such as thumb sucking and mouth breathing are believed to accelerate and even possibly cause crossbites. When one sucks their thumb they narrow the width of the palate and the upper bone of the palate can easily be deformed. This leads to misalignment of teeth and development of malocclusions. Mouth breathing also plays a role in the widening or narrowing of the palate and development of crossbite as a result.
Should crossbite worry you?
Yes, some severe cases of crossbite will negatively impact the way you chew foods and will eventually lead to development of temporomandibular joint complications which are serious. You should therefore strive hard to get immediate treatment once you detect that you have crossbite.
Fortunately, a most of the crossbite cases can easily be corrected and there are very many treatment options available. Here are the most common treatment options used in the correction of crossbite;
Removable expanders are similar to maxillary expanders only that they can be removed. They are used when the crossbite is not as severe. They are best suited for children whose crossbite is only getting started.
These are the most commonly used corrective devices used to correct crossbite and are ideal for both children and adults. Braces are used to align teeth into position by applying the required pressure to push them back and align the bottom and upper teeth.
Here a palatal expander is used to widen the upper jaw or the maxilla so that the upper jaw and the lower jaw can fit perfectly together. The metal expander is installed in the upper jaw and is permanent for a limited period of time extending up to a year. They are very effective especially in adults.
In extreme cases, surgery is used to correct crossbite. This is in instances where braces and expanders or a combination of both is unable to effectively correct the crossbite.
If you are in Houston and suspect that you are suffering from crossbite and want proper diagnosis and treatment of the same, give us a call here at Katy Vita Dental Care or visit our dental offices and we will gladly be of help. We offer high quality treatment options at an affordable and will gladly help you regain the full functionality of your teeth and your beautiful smile.