Crossbite is a kind of dental malocclusion or misalignment where one or more teeth protrude or regress than the opposite tooth in the top or bottom dental arch. A crossbite can affect one or a group of teeth, either at the front or rear of the mouth or even both. Continue reading to find out what causes a crossbite.
Causes of crossbite
A person might develop crossbite due to various causes, including:
- Jaw misalignment: The misalignment of both the upper and lower jaws is one of the causes of this dental malocclusion. The misalignment causes one or more of the upper teeth to fit inside the lower teeth
- Hereditary factors: Genetics might also have a role in the incidence of a crossbite. Many occurrences of crossbite may be traced back to a family member
- Delayed loss of baby teeth: When a baby tooth is not lost in time, the person may in some cases develop a crossbite. Some people retain their baby teeth so long that the permanent teeth start to develop behind them, resembling a second row of teeth. The permanent teeth typically grow incorrectly, resulting in a crossbite
- Thumb-sucking habit: Long-term thumb-sucking could also be a contributing factor in some cases of crossbite. Years of sucking the thumb can distort the upper palate bone, contributing to a crossbite
- Mouth breathing: Certain forms of mouth breathing can produce abnormalities in the upper jaw structure, which can impair teeth alignment; however, this is quite rare. This is most evident in children’s instances, where the kid’s tonsils are too big, forcing the child to breathe solely via their mouth rather than through their nose. When a person breathes via their nose, the tongue is positioned against the mouth’s roof, which helps the jaw develop laterally. However, when the child breathes through their mouth, the tongue is pushed out of place and away from the roof of the mouth. If this breathing pattern is maintained for an extended period, it can lead the jaw to grow asymmetrically and incorrectly, causing a crossbite
Diagnosing a crossbite
An orthodontist can detect crossbite. They will inspect the patient’s mouth and determine whether or not any teeth are not aligned properly. The orthodontist will most likely check the teeth before asking the patient to bite down to assess dental alignment accurately.
The impact of crossbite on a patient
Crossbite patients may endure uncomfortable chewing, migraines, and jaw joint inflammation, all of which can lead to persistent mouth and jaw pain. In severe cases, a crossbite can contribute to arthritis in the jaw joints, leading to joint degeneration. In addition, a crossbite can cause tooth loss and gingivitis.
The bottom line
Fortunately, crossbite may be treated in a variety of ways. The orthodontist will work with you to develop a solution with the least impact on your daily life. Braces and retainers are both viable options, and tooth extraction may be necessary in severe cases.
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