A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth. Crossbite can be seen at the front teeth (anterior crossbite, or more commonly known as underbite), or at the back teeth (posterior crossbite). The crossbite mentioned in this article refers to crossbite on the back teeth (posterior crossbite). For information on anterior crossbite, or underbite, please refer to our webpage ‘Underbite’.
Crossbite may occur on one side of the mouth (unilateral posterior crossbite) or on both sides of the mouth (bilateral posterior crossbite).
In a normal bite, the upper teeth sit a little outside the lower teeth at the front and back and on both sides of the mouth. Crossbite occurs when the top teeth or jaw are narrower than the bottom teeth.
Crossbite between baby teeth may be temporary. Crossbite may self-corrects when adult teeth come through.
Asymmetrical jaw growth
In order to obtain a more comfortable bite, the lower jaw shifts to one side into a position that allows more teeth to come into contact. The shifting of jaw may result in asymmetrical growth of jaws and facial asymmetry.
Self-consciousness and low self-esteem
Crossbite with facial asymmetry can affect one’s self-esteem. Some individual may feel self-conscious about their appearance.
The treatment for crossbite in children differs from that of a teenager or an adult. The bones of the upper jaw in young children are malleable. Hence, it can be widened. Therefore, the recommended treatment for young children usually involves an expansion plate.
The expansion palate is an orthodontic device that is secured onto the upper molar teeth that gradually widens the upper jaw by the regular turns of a special key on the device.
In teenagers and adults, the treatment modalities depends on the severity of the crossbite. In mild cases, orthodontic treatment with elastic bands may be sufficient to correct the bite. Surgical correction in combination of orthodontic treatment may be indicated in severe crossbite.
Are you suffering from this condition? See one of our specialist orthodontists for an assessment.