When you have teeth in the correct occlusion, your upper teeth bite is just slightly outside your lower teeth. If you have a crossbite, some of your upper teeth bite inside or just on top of your lower teeth.
There are two types of crossbites, and the first is a posterior crossbite. A posterior crossbite affects your back teeth, so your upper back teeth will bite inside your lower back teeth when ideally, they should be biting just outside. A crossbite can affect one or both sides of the mouth. An anterior crossbite affects your front teeth, so one or more teeth will bite inside your lower teeth. If most of your front teeth bite inside your lower teeth, this is called an underbite.
Often, a crossbite is caused by genetics, but it can be due to oral habits during childhood. These include thumb sucking and mouth breathing or using a pacifier beyond age three. A crossbite may also be caused if you have abnormal tooth growth or tooth development was delayed somehow.
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A crossbite can affect your appearance, so your smile doesn’t look its best. It can cause significant dental health problems, including teeth that frequently ache because they come under too much pressure when you bite and chew food. It can be painful to bite and chew. You may find it difficult to speak clearly. When your teeth don’t meet together properly, it can cause jaw problems, particularly a problem called temporomandibular jaw disorder or TMD, which can cause facial pain and even headaches.
An improper bite can cause teeth grinding and clenching, a nocturnal habit that can affect the quality of sleep and which causes teeth to wear down significantly, and they may start to chip. Excessive pressure on your teeth caused by a crossbite can make your gums recede and may lead to painful gum issues or jawbone loss.
Invisalign will work well for most cases of crossbites. When correcting crossbites using Invisalign, we may need to use elastics that will gradually expand or constrict your dental arch, creating more room so teeth can be aligned properly. The elastics used during Invisalign treatment are extremely discreet and are tooth-colored. When you visit South Nassau Dental Arts, we can assess your crossbite and determine if Invisalign is the right solution.