Crossbite
Crossbite

Crossbite

A crossbite is a type of dental misalignment in which the upper and lower teeth do not connect evenly when taking a bite. When a crossbite is diagnosed early, your dentist will recommend you have it fixed right away so that it doesn’t result in an uneven jaw or other oral health problems.

There are different ways in which crossbite can be treated. They include elastics, braces or surgery. The way your crossbite will be treated will be as a result of the type of crossbite you have and how severe it is.

Crossbite is a common dental problem, but it can lead to more oral health problems when they are not treated. We have provided you all the information that will help you understand this condition better and how it can be treated.

Table of content

What Is A Crossbite?

A crossbite is a type of misaligned teeth. It appears as an uneven or asymmetrical jaw. It occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not connect evenly. The top teeth sits on the inside of the bottom teeth, or the upper back teeth overhang the lower teeth and extends too far.

Genetic factors are the main causes of crossbite, which result in overcrowded teeth, or behavioural factors, such as thumb sucking. Crossbite is described differently by people because they have different causes.

Types of crossbite

Crossbite can be classified according to how many teeth are affected or where in the mouth they are located. As a result of the above, crossbite can be classified into the following types:

  • Buccal crossbite

The buccal part of your mouth is the closest to your neck. A buccal crossbite occurs when the teeth sit too far out towards the cheek. One of the symptoms of a buccal crossbite is when your tongue can feel the biting surface of your inner teeth when the mouth is closed.

  • Lingual crossbite

A lingual crossbite occurs when the teeth sit too far in towards the tongue. The symptoms of this type of crossbite are same as that of buccal crossbite — your tongue feels the biting surface of your inner teeth when your mouth is closed.

  • Anterior crossbite

An anterior crossbite can also be referred to as an underbite. It occurs when the upper front teeth rest behind the lower front teeth. They are caused by the following conditions:

    • Mouth breathing as a child: this makes the tongue not able to rest at the top of the mouth, and as a result of this, the tongue will not be able to make the top jaw wider.
    • Overcrowded teeth: Your bottom jaw being crowded with teeth can make the bottom jaw push outward than they should be.
    • Repairs to cleft lips: Cleft lip surgery can affect the development of the upper teeth, causing an anterior crossbite.
    • Thumb sucking: Sucking thumb forces the roof of the mouth upward which makes it more narrow instead of getting wider.

Anterior crossbite can be noticed easily — it makes your chin look uneven.

  • Posterior crossbite

A posterior crossbite affects the teeth at the back of the mouth. It is the opposite of an anterior crossbite. It occurs when the upper back teeth rest behind the lower back teeth. The causes of anterior crossbite are similar to those that affect the front teeth. This type of crossbite can also result when the milk teeth fall out late or when adult teeth appear in the wrong order and position. Treating posterior crossbite is easy especially if diagnosed early.

  • Single tooth and segmental crossbite

A single tooth crossbite is when only one tooth is affected. It occurs when a bottom tooth is longer than it supposed to be or when an upper tooth is pushed inward.

A segmental crossbite, on the other hand, can affect two or three teeth at the same time. The teeth do not always line up the way they should which makes them sit out towards the cheek, or inwards towards the tongue.

  • Bilateral and unilateral crossbite

A bilateral crossbite occurs when both sides of your mouth are affected by the crossbite while a unilateral crossbite happens on only one side of your mouth. The treatment for the two crossbites are the same just that there may be slight difference in the work that will be done.

Crossbite summary table

The table below is an overview of the types of crossbite to help you understand them better.

Types of crossbite Meaning
Buccal crossbite The teeth are positioned towards the check
Lingual crossbite The teeth are positioned towards the tongue
Anterior crossbite It affects the front teeth
Posterior crossbite It affects the back teeth
Single tooth crossbite It affects only one tooth
Segmental crossbite It affects 2-3 teeth
Unilateral crossbite It affects one side of the teeth
Bilateral crossbite It affects the two sides of the teeth


Problems of a crossbite cause

Crossbite teeth is not really a problem aesthetically. It must be corrected on time so that it doesn’t cause more problem in the future. There are many problems of posterior and anterior crossbite; they include:

  • Gum disease
  • There may be an increased risk of tooth decay
  • Excessive wear on the teeth and gum
  • Teeth grinding or bruxism may increase
  • You may experience cheek biting when eating
  • A crossbite can cause an asymmetrical jaw
  • You may feel headache as a result of tension sometimes

Crossbite Treatment Options

There are different treatment options for crossbite. This is because there are different types of crossbite and each having their causes. Diagnosing crossbite early in children makes treatment effective because the bones are not fused in place yet. Treating crossbite with braces early is about 80% more effective without other treatment being required.

The treatment options for crossbite are:

Treating a crossbite with braces

The use of braces is common for treating posterior and anterior crossbite. Palate expander is the most common type of braces used for treating crossbite. When a palate expander is used, it widens the upper jaw allowing the top teeth to sit properly with the lower teeth.

Adjusting palate expanders periodically helps to push the teeth farther apart. The faster result is achieved when a rapid expansion method is used – It can help to achieve the desired result within a few months.

Further straightening may be required after the palate has been expanded to the correct size. This can be achieved by wearing retainers, which helps to keep the teeth in place.

Can Invisalign fix crossbite?

Invisalign braces can be used effectively to treat patients with mild or moderate crossbite cases. This types of braces cannot be noticed easily, and they are more convenient for use compared to metal braces. Invisalign cannot treat all types of crossbite; you can take a free smile assessment from Invisalign website to know if your crossbite can be treated with Invisalign braces.

Fixing A Posterior Crossbite With Elastics

Elastics can be used to treat posterior and anterior crossbite. A posterior crossbite elastic is used to fix the misaligned teeth at the back of your mouth. It uses hooks that are fixed to the inside of your top tooth and the outside of your lower tooth and then connected by an elastic band.

This helps to pull the back tooth outwards, allowing it to sit over the lower tooth as it ought to be. This process is quite simple, and it can take up to four months to achieve the desired result.

Jaw realignment surgery

Jaw realignment surgery can be used for treating severe cases of crossbite. Some people are always worried when undergoing surgery — it is worth the worry if it will bring back your oral health. You will be required to wear braces for at least eighteen months after undergoing a crossbite surgey — this will help to hold your teeth back in position.

In jaw realignment surgery, breaking and repositioning of the jaw will occur. The surgeon then adds plates and screws to hold the jaw in place. There is no visible scarring because the cuts are all done inside your mouth.

Crossbite surgery recovery processes are in three stages. You will need to take liquid foods for the first three days. Healing takes about six weeks and twelve weeks for full recovery. Crossbite braces can be worn afterwards for at least six months.

The dentist may need to show you some before and after surgery pictures to calm your nerves and also to help you understand what your treatment results will be like.

The cost of Jaw realignment surgery in London

Jaw realignment surgery in London can be expensive; it can cost up to £2,500 or even higher. The high cost of jaw realignment surgery in London is influenced by a lot of variables that — these variables contribute to the overall crossbite surgery costs. These include some fees such as surgical fees, anaesthetic fees, hospital fees, consumables fees, and orthognathic planning fees.

Can you fix crossbite in adults?

You may have buccal crossbite for years without knowing. This may be the reason why you bite your tongue constantly when you are chewing. Crossbite can be fixed in adults; it is never too late to fix a crossbite. All of the treatment options such as braces, elastics, surgery can all be used to fixed crossbite in adults. You may prefer Invisalign clear braces to make your treatment less conspicuous.

Summary

Fixing crossbite is straightforward; it is quite simpler in children than adults. Treatment involves the use of braces, elastics, or surgery. Crossbite brace treatment does not necessarily mean that metal brackets will be fixed to your teeth, clear aligners may be used instead. This types of braces are effective and convenient for crossbite treatment.

Smile Works Dental has qualified dentists who can help you achieve a beautiful smile. You can visit us at suite 9, Second Floor, 117A Harley Street, London, W1G 6AT or call 020 71834091 today to book an appointment. We will be glad to guide you in choosing a suitable treatment option.

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