A crossbite is a type of bite problem due to misalignment of teeth between the top and the bottom teeth.
If you have a crossbite the upper teeth fit inside of lower teeth instead of the other way around. The top teeth should always close over the bottom teeth. This misalignment can be minimal or more extensive. If it is a mild crossbite it will affect a single tooth however if it is more significant it will involve groups of teeth, involving the front teeth, back teeth, or both.
Types of crossbite
- “Back” or Posterior crossbite is when the back teeth are affected, upper teeth sit inside of bottom teeth.
- “Front” or Anterior crossbite is when the front teeth are in crossbite, one or more top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth.
This should not to be confused with an underbite, when all the top teeth, or jaw, are behind the bottom teeth. This is a different bite problem and although the two can be related the cause of the problem could be very different.
At 128 Harley Street Dental Suite, all the assessments are done by specialist dentists in Orthodontics who have specific qualifications and training in orthodontics and will be able to assess your type of problem from the outset.
You do not have a crossbite if your teeth are lined up correctly and the upper teeth which are naturally wider lay on the outside of the bottom teeth.
Causes of a crossbite
A crossbite can occur from a discrepancy between the size of the top and bottom teeth or in the jaw sizes. Genetics could also play a role whilst if you didn’t look after your baby teeth when you were younger and they were lost early the adult teeth might not grow in the right position. On the other hand, if you lost your baby teeth quite late it can lead to abnormal eruption of permanent teeth.
Other causes include even habits like thumb sucking or swallowing in an abnormal way which can generate damaging pressure from the cheek muscles which might push the top teeth to the inside of the bottom teeth.
Do I need to correct a crossbite?
A crossbite may reveal an underlying jaw or bite problem and is best addressed. There is no specific age when this can be done however the younger the age, whilst your face and jaws are still developing, could allow for a less lengthier process. Leaving the crossbite untreated can cause difficulty eating, and your smile aesthetics can be compromised especially if this is visible.
How can I have my crossbite corrected?
Depending on the scope of the crossbite, treatment may involve the use of a top jaw expansion device called a palatal expander. This can be of a fixed or removable type with the primary intention will be to make the upper jaw wider. This would be used alongside an appliance designed to move the teeth, such as braces or clear aligners.
A trained orthodontic specialist dentist such as Dr Stefan at 128 Harley Street Dental Suite, will know which method will suit you best and will also help you determine which is best for you.
Which orthodontist shall I make an appointment with?
When you choose an orthodontist at 128 Harley Street Dental Suite for your orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a highly skilled specialist. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics, coordinating bites and dento-facial orthopaedics, ensuring properly aligned teeth and jaws. Specialist dentists in orthodontics also possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.
Dr. Stefan Abela
BChD, MFDS, RCS Eng, MSc, MORTH RCS Ed, AHEA, FDS Orth RCS Ed
Stefan is a Consultant in Orthodontics at one of the most prestigious London teaching hospitals; Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.
Stefan is also a specialist in Orthodontics and is registered on the General Dental Council (GDC) specialist list. Stefan qualified as a dental surgeon in 2003 and underwent further training in various specialties including restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry, oral medicine and complex oral and maxillofacial surgery including the management of facial trauma.