Many people strive to obtain a beautiful smile, and this is often associated with properly aligned teeth. The reality is that dental anomalies are by no means uncommon, and crossbite is one such issue which many people experience. There are a number of potential causes for crossbite, but the good news is that this condition is easy to correct. In this blog post we will be sharing some insight into this common dental anomaly, along with the correction options available.
What is a Crossbite?
In simple terms, a crossbite is a dental condition whereby the upper teeth fit behind the lower teeth when the mouth is shut. The misalignment can affect one or both sides of the mouth, and is clearly visible on visual examination. Crossbites most commonly involve the entire arch of teeth, but in some cases a single tooth may display signs of crossbite.
Whilst many people believe that crossbites are merely an aesthetic issue, misaligned teeth can adversely affect your bite and oral health.
Causes of Crossbite
There are a variety of factors which can lead to the development of a crossbite, and this condition affects adults and children alike. Some common causes include:
- Family Genetics – Those with a family history of dental misalignment have a greater chance of developing a crossbite.
- Abnormal Jaw Growth – in some cases the upper or lower jaw display irregularities, which can lead to the development of crossbite.
- Delayed Tooth Eruption – Adult teeth can sometimes emerge later than expected. In some cases, they may also emerge in the wrong position. Both factors can contribute to crossbites.
- Early Childhood Habits – Prolonged use of pacifiers or excessive thumb-sucking during early childhood can alter the positioning of the teeth.
- Facial Injury – People who have experienced a facial injury often experience disruption to the normal alignment of teeth and jaws, which may ultimately lead to a crossbite.
Types of Crossbite
There are two different categories of crossbite, which include:
Anterior Crossbite: The group of teeth at the bottom front of the mouth fit over the teeth of the top jaw.
Posterior Crossbite: The group of lower teeth which sit towards the back of the mouth fit over the teeth in the top jaw.
How does having a Crossbite Impact Oral Health?
When left untreated, crossbites can contribute to the development of various oral health issues. Most commonly, the presence of misaligned teeth results in uneven wear and tear on the tooth surface. This can increase the risk of tooth damage and sensitivity.
Due to the excessive pressure placed on the gums, those with crossbites are also at a heightened risk of experiencing gum recession and discomfort.
A misaligned jaw can also contribute to chronic jaw pain and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Finally, a crossbite can affect your smile which may impact upon your self-confidence. If your goal is to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile, rest assured that this is possible.
Crossbites are easily treated, and following an examination your dentist will advise you on the most appropriate option for you. Common treatment options include:
- Braces – by applying gradual pressure to misaligned teeth, it is possible to realign them.
- Invisalign – in mild to moderate cases of crossbite, Invisalign is a potential treatment option which is almost invisible.
- Tooth Extraction – In some cases, removing specific teeth can help to alleviate crowding and create space for proper alignment.
- Jaw Surgery – In more severe cases, particularly those where the jaws growth is significantly affected, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct the crossbite.
Due to variances in the type and severity of crossbites, your dentist or orthodontist will need to determine the most suitable treatment plan for you. Early intervention is key, as this will result in the most favourable outcomes.
Contact Sydney Park Dental Today
Having a crossbite can affect the aesthetics of your smile and your oral health, but this issue is easily treated. Book a consultation with Sydney Park Dental today, and our experienced dentists will devise a tailored treatment plan that will see you enjoying a beautiful, healthy smile and optimal oral health.