Longmeadow Family Dental Care Longmeadow Family Dental Care

Crossbite: When Your Bite Is Not Right

When your upper and lower teeth do not line up properly, it can affect your dental health and confidence. Crossbites tend to present themselves during childhood, and stay misaligned as the patient ages. The misalignment can cause serious dental health problems. Fortunately, the dentists at Longmeadow Family Dental can help correct your crossbite with a variety of treatment options.

What Exactly is a Crossbite?   

A crossbite occurs when there is a misalignment between the upper teeth in relation to the lower teeth. In a normal bite, the upper teeth lie outside (or sit wider) than the lower teeth. When this situation is reversed, it is called a crossbite.

What Causes a Crossbite to Occur?   

  • Genetics: If your parents had issues with misaligned bites, they could have passed their crossbite down to you
  • Permanent teeth growing in prematurely: Commonly, crossbites that occur in children stem from permanent teeth growing in before all primary teeth have fallen out
  • Pacifier Use/Thumb Sucking: Prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking can cause permanent damage to bone growth in the mouth and jaw

Effects of a Misaligned Bite:

  • Tooth decay or tooth loss
  • Gum disease
  • Stress on the jaw – can lead to headaches, jaw grinding, and neck and shoulder pain

 Treatment Options:

Correcting a misaligned bite during childhood will help prevent permanent growth damage to the mouth and jaw. Although there are less treatment options for adults, here are a variety of methods that can help correct the issue:

  • Maxillary Expander: a device attached to the upper teeth that gradually widens the palate
  • Removable Expander: a device worn at night (by adults) to widen the upper palate when only minimal expansion is needed
  • Braces
  • Surgery: in extreme cases, a surgeon breaks the jaw bone in several places to allow for wider palate expansion

If you suffer from the effects of a crossbite, please call or make an appointment with your Longmeadow dentist today.