At Pronova Clinic we are aware of the importance of oral health and that is why we want to inform you about cross bite. Knowing more about this dental problem that affects both children and adults can help to identify it, solve it, and prevent it from getting progressively worse. Discover with us what is crossbite, its causes and what are its treatments, both for children and adults.
What is crossbite?
In a normal bite, the teeth of the upper arch protrude in front of or outside the teeth of the lower arch.
When this situation is the opposite, that is, when one or more teeth of the upper arch occlude inside the lower arch, this is when we speak of crossbite in Orthodontics.
This cross-bite can be located anteriorly or posteriorly and can be of 1 or more teeth.
People with crossbites are also characterized by a narrow palate, i.e., a bony structure that needs to be widened.
Among the different types of malocclusions that exist, we could say that cross-bite is one of the most common among the population.
Causes of crossbite
Crossbite can occur for various reasons.
It may be because bone development has not occurred properly, but also because the teeth have not erupted properly and do not occlude as they should. According to these criteria, we would find:
- Dental: the maxillary bones are of normal size and the teeth are inclined inward.
- Skeletal: the maxilla is narrower than the mandible. In these cases, although the teeth are well positioned in relation to the bone, the upper teeth are inside the lower teeth.
- Combination of dental and skeletal crossbite: both bone and teeth have had adequate growth/eruption.
In addition, we can say that crossbite can be caused by genetic factors, but also by bad dental habits such as thumb sucking for long periods of time, placing the tongue in an inadequate position (atypical swallowing) or mouth breathing (which is accompanied by a low and anterior position of the tongue and therefore does not stimulate the transverse growth of the upper jaw).
Types of crossbite
- Anterior crossbite: affects the front area of the mouth.
- Posterior crossbite: occurs in the back of the mouth.
- Unilateral crossbite: affects only one side of the mouth (right or left).
- Bilateral crossbite: occurs on both sides of the mouth.
Treatments for crossbite
In the treatment of crossbite, early diagnosis and treatment are essential because it could cause asymmetrical growth of the jaw leading to facial asymmetry and being a more complex treatment in adulthood. In addition to causing facial and aesthetic asymmetry, they can also cause muscular, articular and functional problems.
Among the main problems that accompany crossbite, we can highlight the difficulty in biting because the teeth are not receiving the forces adequately and are susceptible to damage.
Treatment of crossbite in children
This malocclusion is most easily and effectively treated during infancy because we can stimulate the growth of the jaws as the patient is growing. That is why it is always advisable to take the little ones to the orthodontist for the first time when they are about 6 years old. Orthodontists for the first time when they are approximately 6 years old. Even so, in the case of early detection, treatment could be started even before the age of 6 years.
At the age when the patient is growing, the treatment is an interceptive treatment aimed at guiding the growth of the maxillary and mandibular bone bases. It is usually treated with appliances that are fixed on the palate (Hyrax or McNamara type disjunctions) and that aim to expand the upper jaw and, therefore, widen the palate.
During growth, we can consider these to be relatively easy treatments as the bones are still forming and are highly effective.
Treatment of crossbite in adults
The treatment for adults is radically different since the growth of the facial bones is complete and therefore, we cannot guide them with orthopedics.
In these cases, the orthodontist must evaluate the degree of severity of the malocclusion in each patient and, after studying the case, will proceed to determine the best treatment to correct the malocclusion and obtain the correct position.
Among the treatments we can find dental compensation (working with the inclination of the teeth with respect to the jaw bases in order to fit the teeth properly) or, in more accentuated cases, it may be necessary to resort to orthognathic surgery in order to modify the size and position of the bone.