What Is A Crossbite And How Can It Be Treated?

Posted on: 9 April 2015

Problems with the alignment of teeth can lead to more serious problems if not treated promptly. For example, an overbite can interfere with normal chewing and add strain to the teeth and jaw. In a crossbite, your top teeth either fall behind or in front of the lower teeth when biting down. Fortunately, there are a range of treatment options to correct it and prevent tooth loss and other issues later.

Symptoms of a Crossbite

Appearance changes in the mouth are not always visible to the naked eye, so it is important to pay attention to other symptoms if you suspect a problem. You may have a crossbite if you experience the following:

  • Problems with chewing
  • Jaw pain, particularly on one side
  • Difficulty cleaning some hard-to-reach teeth

Following a standard examination with a dentist, an orthodontist will check X-rays to see how the jaw and teeth are aligned. Also, he or she may take impressions of the inside of your mouth to better identify problem areas and decide the best course of treatment.

Treatment without Braces

For minor alignment issues, sometimes all that is needed is a retainer or an expander to widen the jaw. You will wear these as directed, and the orthodontist will periodically check your progress. For more severe cases, you may need to wear these devices before or during other treatment.

Braces Effectively Correct Most Crossbites

For many bite problems, orthodontists recommend braces. They work by slowly promoting proper tooth and jaw alignment over an extended period. Besides traditional metal braces, clear and removable versions can be worn for crossbites. The availability of these options can vary depending on the exact problem, and your orthodontist can advise you on which ones are the most effective for your situation.

Surgery is an Option for the Most Severe Cases

WebMD states surgery is sometimes needed to correct misaligned bites. The jaw will be repositioned to regain a normal bite structure. In addition to or besides this, teeth may be removed if overcrowding is causing extra wear or stress in one area of the mouth. Both of these procedures are generally reserved only for extreme cases where less invasive options have already been attempted.

If you begin to experience problems chewing or the inside of your mouth feels uneven when biting down, you may have a crossbite. It is important to seek treatment to avoid more severe problems later in life. Speak with a dentist or orthodontist such as Wright Center For Orthodontics today, and start exploring possible treatments that are right for you.