Crossbite is a misalignment of teeth, and the two main types of crossbite are overbite and underbite. With an overbite, the top teeth protrude over the two bottom teeth. Buckteeth is a lay term for the two center top incisor teeth that protrude over the bottom front incisor teeth. With an underbite, the lower front teeth jut out in front of the upper teeth. However, a misaligned bite can happen anywhere in your mouth.
Crossbite can occur when a child is losing baby teeth and permanent teeth are growing in. It can happen when a person’s mouth isn’t big enough for all the teeth that come in. It can also have hereditary origins.
Problems that Can Result from Crossbite
Aside from making you self-conscious or embarrassed, misaligned teeth can cause physical problems, such as:
- Dental decay
- Gum disease
- Muscle pain
- Grinding teeth
- Worn down teeth
- Jaw problems
- Abnormal facial development
Treatment Options for Misaligned Teeth
Here are the most common options for misalignment problems.
- Braces. Both children and adult can get braces to align their top and bottom teeth into the correct bite positions.
- Palatal expanders. Palate or palatal expanders do what the name suggests — they expand the palate to correct the bite. Your dentist may give you removable palatal expanders, which you take out at night, or fixed expanders, which attach to the upper molars and are gradually adjusted to widen the palate.
- Headgear. Dentists use headgear mostly with teenagers and children. Headgear applies force to the teeth and jaw and either increases or slows jaw growth over time. The headgear is worn on the head and has wires that attach to the teeth.
- Tooth removal. Sometimes the most effective way to adjust a bite is to remove a few teeth. This is true when teeth are crowding other teeth and causing an alignment problem.
- Surgery. After jaws have stopped growing, surgery may be necessary and this is especially true for adults. The dentist breaks the jaw during surgery and after surgery the patient wears a device that caused the jaw to mold a certain way that will correct the bite during healing.
At , Hutto Hippo Family Dental, Dr. Baker is glad to discuss crossbite issues and explain options that would work best to correct your crossbite.