Adult Crossbite Treatment and Surgery Information
Permanent teeth need space to line up when they emerge in the mouth. When the baby teeth still haven’t fallen out by the time the permanent teeth begin to emerge, it can result in a crossbite. This can result in two lines of teeth instead of one. A crossbite, in other words, is simply teeth growing in a wrong line.
A crossbite could be hereditary, or may develop later. It could be a natural progression of the structure of the jaw line. A crossbite may also develop when the baby teeth don’t fall out in time. A crossbite will not correct itself. Some people believe that if they wait it out for a few more years, all the teeth will align themselves up naturally. That won’t happen, and in fact, the more you delay treatment, the longer treatment will take later on.
A crossbite not only looks bad, but can also cause serious concerns. The problem may not just be cosmetic. When teeth emerge in the wrong manner, there is a good chance that it could place excess pressure on the jaw joints. That in turn, could lead to temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD. In fact, it has been observed that even grown-ups who suffer from TMD get relief from these painful symptoms, when they undergo crossbite treatment.
Children, who are forced to breathe through their mouth, could develop a crossbite. Children with adenoids and tonsils that are too large may be forced to breathe through their mouths. Additionally, some children suffer from frequent nasal allergies and congestion, and may have to breathe through their mouth when their nasal passages are blocked. In such cases, the patient may need an ENT treatment before the crossbite treatment begins. If your child breathes through his mouth, or snores in his sleep, consult with your dentist – he may be able to spot an underbite in the making. Also check if your child’s chin is a little off center. That could be the sign of a crossbite condition. Besides, a child who suffers from a crossbite may also slide his jaw from left to right while eating in order to chew.
Orthodontic treatment for a crossbite must begin as early as possible. If adenoids and enlarged tonsils are a part of the problem, then these must be removed before treatment can begin. Before treating the crossbite, the orthodontist will first have to undertake a broadening or expanding of the upper jaw. The right spacing out of the jaw is important to have a normal bite, as this creates space for the teeth to emerge. This expansion of the jaw is done with a device called an “expander.” The expander is fixed to the upper portion of the mouth. The device comes with a turnkey, and the orthodontist will use this to widen the expander during the first one or two months. The expander is generally used for about three months to move bone into the right position.
Braces may be placed during the use of the expander or after the use of the device, to close the gaps that are created after the expansion. Your child may also be required to wear braces for a period of one or two years after the expander has been removed.