Has your dentist told you that you have a crossbite? If so, then you’re not alone. Over 4-5% of the population have anterior crossbites.
If this condition affects you, it’s essential to learn what that means and what possible solutions are available. So what is a crossbite, and how can you correct it? Below is a comprehensive guide to help you better understand crossbites and their causes:
What Is a Crossbite?
A crossbite is a dental malocclusion that occurs when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. In other words, the upper teeth are positioned too far inward towards the tongue while the lower teeth remain in their usual place. This can cause a misalignment of both the jaws and teeth.
As a result, patients with this condition may have difficulty chewing and speaking. They can even experience pain in the jaw joint. Crossbites can also lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
Types of Crossbites
Having well-aligned jaws and teeth is an indication of good oral health. Unfortunately, crossbites can cause a misalignment in the teeth and jaws.
There are different types of crossbites, depending on which teeth are affected. These include:
This type of crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. It can cause the lower teeth to protrude and the upper teeth to flare out. It also leads to gum disease and bone loss.
A posterior crossbite is when the lower teeth bite on the inside of the upper teeth. This can cause the lower jaw to protrude and lead to crowding of the teeth and tooth decay.
A unilateral crossbite is when only one side of the mouth is affected. This can cause the teeth to wear down unevenly and lead to gum disease.
If you think you may have a crossbite, it’s essential to see a dental professional so they can diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of treatment. If left untreated, crossbites can cause serious dental problems. So don’t delay in getting the help you need!
What Causes a Crossbite?
Crossbites don’t just happen; there is always a reason why your teeth may be misaligned. Here are some of the common causes of crossbites:
Your DNA plays a significant role in the alignment of your teeth. If your parents or grandparents had a crossbite, there is a higher chance you will too.
Crossbites can also be caused by other genetic dental conditions such as missing teeth or an overbite.
Trauma and Injuries
An injury to your face or jaw can cause your teeth to become misaligned. This is especially true if the injury occurs during childhood while the jaw is still developing. If your child experiences an injury to the face or jaw, it’s important to consult with a dental professional as soon as possible.
Habits like thumb sucking can cause your teeth to grow crooked or misaligned. If you continue this habit into adulthood, it can cause permanent damage to your teeth and jaw.
Likewise, using a pacifier can result in teeth misalignment and crossbite. The constant pressure caused by the thumb and pacifier will change the shape of your mouth and jaw, resulting in dental issues down the road.
Poor Dental Care
Not taking proper care of your teeth can lead to several dental problems, including a crossbite. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque and tartar will build up on your teeth. This can cause your teeth to become crooked or misaligned. Likewise, not getting dental checkups can also cause dental problems like crossbite.
Abnormal Swallowing Patterns
Abnormal swallowing patterns are caused by numerous things, including mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking. If you have an irregular swallowing pattern, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional so they can determine the best course of treatment.
How Is a Crossbite Treated?
A crossbite can be treated in a number of ways, depending on the severity of the condition. If you have a crossbite, you will likely need to undergo orthodontic treatment or surgery.
In some cases, simply wearing a retainer or braces can correct the problem. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to realign the jaws.
If you think you may have a crossbite, it’s essential to see an orthodontist or dentist for an evaluation. They will be able to determine the best course of treatment for you.
How Long Does it Take to Fix Crossbites?
Crossbite treatment times vary for children and adults depending on the type of crossbite and the severity of the issue.
Mild crossbites may be corrected in as little as two to four weeks, while more severe cases may take up to six months or longer. The good news is that treatment for a crossbite is typically very successful, so no matter how long it takes to fix your crossbite, it will be worth it in the end.
If you identify a crossbite in your child, you can start the treatment before age 10. Most orthodontists use pallet expanders to expand the mouth’s roof and treat the crossbite while the jaw is still developing.
If you have mild crossbites, you can use a removable palate expander for adults prescribed by your orthodontist. However, if your case is severe, you may need jaw corrective surgery.
The primary objective of the surgery is to correct, reset and realign your jaw. However, you will still need additional treatments such as braces while the jaw is healing to ensure it’s successful.
How Much Does Corrective Treatment for Crossbites Cost?
The cost of treatment for a crossbite can vary depending on the severity of the issue and which corrective measures are necessary. In general, the earlier a crossbite is identified and treated, the less expensive it will be.
Crossbite treatment may be covered by dental insurance, but this varies depending on the individual policy. The most important factor in determining the cost of corrective treatment for a crossbite is the severity of the issue. Talk to your orthodontist to determine the cost of your crossbite solution.
Now You Know Everything About Crossbites
One of the most asked questions by dental patients is “What is a crossbite?” A crossbite is a dental condition that occurs when the upper and lower jaws are misaligned. This can cause your teeth to grow crooked or misaligned.
If you have a crossbite, you will likely need to undergo orthodontic treatment or surgery.
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