Dental Crossbite Explained

1 March 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Dental crossbite is a common phenomenon, one that is often treated by means of braces or other prosthetic devices. It involves one or more teeth being positioned irregularly with respect to their corresponding teeth on the top or bottom side. If you would like to improve your knowledge of common dental issues, read on. This article will provide a useful introduction to the causes, complications, and treatment of dental crossbite.

Defining Dental Crossbite

As noted above, dental crossbite refers to one or more pairs of top-bottom teeth that are not correctly oriented with regards to one another. An instance of crossbite may be referred to as either buccal or lingual, depending on the particular direction of the misoriented tooth. A buccal crossbite is one whose misaligned teeth are closer to the cheek, whereas a lingual crossbite is one where they are closer to the tongue.

Causes Of Dental Crossbite

In most cases, crossbite is caused by hereditary factors. Thus it is common for parents who dealt with crossbite to have children who are also afflicted with this issue. In some cases, however, crossbite may arise as the result of baby teeth that are retained longer than usual, or by teeth erupting from the jaw too soon. Likewise, crossbite may be intensified by certain habitual tendencies. Thumb sucking, for instance, can lead to deformation of the palate's upper bones, thus leading to crossbite.

Dental Crossbite Complications

If dental crossbite is severe enough--and goes untreated for a long enough time--it may end up contributing to a wide range of dental issues. For one thing, it will increase the patient's likelihood of developing periodontal or gingival diseases. It may also increase the chances of tooth loss as the result of malocclusion--that is, teeth that do not fit together properly. Dental implants are often the most suitable option for treating tooth loss as the result of crossbite.

Dental crossbite can also lead to degeneration and arthritis of the temporomandibular joint. Finally, dental crossbite will contribute to asymmetrical jaw development, thus leading to dysfunctional chewing and a noticeably malformed smile.

Treating Dental Crossbite

For all of the reasons listed above, it is important to utilize therapies to minimize the threat posed by crossbite. Such therapies may include the use of any of the following orthodontic devices:

  • braces
  • quad helix
  • removable plates
  • clear aligner therapy

The particular method utilized will depend on both the type of the crossbite and its severity. Multiple orthodontic devices may be necessary to treat dental crossbite that has occurred as the result of a malformed palate.

To learn more, contact a clinic like Crest Hill Family Dental.