In the dental field, the expression crossbite refers to a problem of dental positioning that prevents the teeth from closing properly. It is a condition that has a significant aesthetic impact on the smile, and also has a negative influence on chewing and joints.
When this problem arises, it is crucial to intervene as soon as possible with an orthopedic-orthodontic therapy. For this reason, identifying the problem at a young age becomes fundamental. It is precisely in this way that we intervene at Mercuri Orthodontie office to solve the problem of the crossbite.
So let's see specifically what it is, what are the causes, when and how we intervene.
What is a crossbite: causes and consequences
The cross bite, also called reverse bite, is a problem related to the incorrect alignment of the dental arches. To better understand what it is, we need to imagine the mouth as a box where the upper jaw is the lid. The lid is always a little bigger than the box. Similarly, the teeth of the upper arch have to be a little bit more outside of the teeth of the lower arch. If this does not happen, we have a cross bite. This leads to aesthetic and reverse chewing problems. It can affect both adults and children.
It can also, in some cases, cause grinding of the teeth, neck pain, postural pain, back pain and ringing in the ears. There are different types of cross or reverse bites:
Reverse skeletal bite: it occurs in the presence of a bone problem and which concerns the incorrect position of the upper and lower jaw.
Dental reverse bite: when the cause lies in an incorrect inclination of one or more teeth.
Mono lateral reverse bite: if it affects only one side of the mouth.
Bilateral reverse bite: if it affects both sides of the mouth.
Anterior reverse bite: when one or more upper anterior teeth are located within the corresponding lower teeth
There are several causes. For example, there may be a genetic predisposition. Bad habits can then exacerbate the problem. Other causes include: insufficient development of the upper jaw during the developmental phase; prolonged use of the pacifier; thumb sucking; low posture of the tongue; mouth breathing only.
How we correct the cross bite
It is essential to intervene early to correct the problem of the cross bite in time. The first thing we do is to make a diagnosis through a specific clinical exam. We then evaluate whether there is a pre-contact in the closure of the teeth, which determines a sliding forward or to the side of the mandible.
During this visit it is necessary for the patient to close his mouth, keeping his jaw relaxed. This position is called the centric relationship, and allows us to identify the severity of the reverse bite.
Surely, the main treatment of this problem is represented by orthodontics. In severe cases it may be necessary to resort to corrective orthognathic surgery, with the aim of improving the patient's quality of life. Obviously, these are borderline cases in which an invasive approach must necessarily be implemented.
The right time of intervention is of great importance. The sooner you intervene, the greater the chances of having positive results. This is also due to the fact that the bones of the skull of children are more easily modeled, as they are not yet completely welded.
After verifying the presence of a dental malocclusion, we advice the use of mobile and/or fixed orthodontic appliances. In some circumstances we can resort to invisible and lingual orthodontics. One of the most effective and efficient systems for correcting the cross bite is certainly the rapid palatal expansion. The latter solution is particularly suitable for children, where it is easier to make an orthopedic modification of the area.
Prevention is also possible in these cases. This means that parents must discourage bad habits in their children, and above all carry them to the specialist for the first orthodontic visit during which we can diagnose the presence of a problem affecting the oral cavity. We will thus be able to detect the presence of a possible crossbite or other problem.
Therefore, the advice we give to parents is to take care of the health of children's teeth from an early age. Only in this way, we can make their smile become beautiful and healthy.