Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
Have you ever heard of a crossbite? This refers to a lateral misalignment of the teeth, typified when the lower and upper jaw alignment is crooked. It looks as if the lower jaw is shifted too far to one side. If you’re one of the Americans living with an untreated crossbite, you face an elevated risk of several oral health issues. Laser Dentistry of Erie wants to educate you on what a crossbite is and how we treat it.
Get the facts on crossbites
Crossbite occurs when your upper teeth become misaligned in relation to your lower teeth. There are two types of crossbite—anterior and posterior. An anterior crossbite occurs when the upper front teeth rest behind the lower front teeth when you bite down, rather than coming together as they should. A posterior crossbite affects the back teeth, with the top ones falling inside the lower back teeth.
What causes crossbites?
In most cases, crossbite is hereditary. If either or both of your parents have problems with their bite, you’re much more likely to develop some sort of bite misalignment. Children may develop crossbite if their permanent teeth start to erupt from the gum line before losing all the baby teeth in that area. This impedes the growth of new permanent teeth, which can throw their bite out of alignment.
What are the risks associated with having a crossbite?
In addition to the cosmetic effect and potential blow to self-confidence that can come from having a crooked bite, a person with crossbite may experience gum recession, loose teeth, jaw pain, or bruxism—the clinical term for teeth grinding. Over time, living with untreated crossbite can lead to tooth loss or the development of temporomandibular joint disorder (most commonly known as TMJ disorder).
Having a laterally misaligned bite places excess tension on the jaws. This extra stress can lead to painful headaches that occur regularly. If you’re grinding your teeth in addition to having a crossbite, this can cause even more tension on the teeth and jaw. A case of crossbite even can alter the development of the face and jaws.
Treatment Options for Crossbites
If you or someone you love has a crossbite, your neuromuscular dentist in Erie provides noninvasive treatment to correct the problem. In cases of crossbite, treatment at younger ages is recommended. One of the experienced dental professionals at Laser Dentistry of Erie evaluate patients that show signs of crossbite, detect the problem if it exists, and then provide treatment.
In most cases, crossbite can be corrected through either an oral appliance or orthodontic treatment. Laser Dentistry of Erie also offers myofunctional therapy, which correct poor oral habits that develop as a result of crossbites. Children as young as three or four years of age could benefit from myofunctional therapy in Erie to correct crossbites or orofacial myofunctional disorders.
To learn more about treating crossbites, schedule a consultation at Laser Dentistry of Erie by calling (814) 825-2615. We welcome patients of Erie, Harborcreek, and Millcreek.