Like an overbite or underbite, a crossbite is a misalignment of your teeth. In this case, at least one upper tooth fits inside the lower teeth.
What makes a crossbite different from an underbite is the number of teeth involved. If you have an underbite, all your teeth are involved. If you have a crossbite, only a group of teeth is affected.
A crossbite can involve teeth anywhere in your mouth. An anterior crossbite involves teeth at the front, and a posterior crossbite the teeth in the back.
Crossbites can and should be treated. Without treatment, a crossbite can affect your teeth, your jaw, your sleep, and even your speech.
Misaligned teeth are more likely to chip and decay because of their position. Overcrowding can make it hard to brush well and lead to cavities. The force of biting on misaligned teeth can cause cracking, breaking, and bone loss near the affected teeth.
The type of misalignment associated with a crossbite can also cause pain. Your teeth and jaw may hurt, you may suffer from headaches, or your neck or shoulder muscles may ache.
With a crossbite, the muscles in your jaw are not working together evenly. This affects the functioning of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Poor function of this joint can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder, causing pain and difficulty moving your jaw.
Those unbalanced muscles affect the other systems around them, leading to pain in other parts of your body.
A crossbite puts your jaw in an abnormal position. Eventually, that position can lead to sleep apnea. This condition causes breathing interruptions during sleep which decrease the oxygen supply to your brain.
Sleep apnea keeps you from getting a good night’s rest and it can lead to complications including high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
The misalignment from a crossbite can make it hard to form some sounds. This may impact your speech and ability to communicate with others.
Like other dental issues, the problems caused by an untreated crossbite don’t stay in your mouth. They can affect your physical health in many ways. Difficulty communicating can cause isolation and mental health challenges.
You don’t have to suffer with an uncorrected crossbite. We can help. Contact us today for more information about treating a dental misalignment.