Understanding Dental Crossbite

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Understanding Dental Crossbite

9 May 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

For those who do not happen to be dental professionals, many of the ailments that can affect the teeth and gums remain shrouded in mystery. Unfortunately, the less you know about common dental problems, the more likely you or someone in your family are to fall prey to them. If you would like to boost your understanding of frequently encountered dental problems, read on. This article will discuss the one known as dental crossbite.

The Basics

Dental crossbite is the phenomenon whereby teeth on the top and bottom do not come together correctly. This problem may affect from a single pair of teeth up to an entire side of the mouth. Crossbite is generally distinguished by whether the misaligned teeth point inward or outward. Those with outward facing teeth are referred to as suffering from buccal cross bite. Those with inward facing teeth are referred to as suffering from lingual crossbite, a name which derives from their closer position to the tongue.


Dental crossbite is commonly passed down genetically. In other words, those who suffer from crossbite are likely to pass it on to their children, and likely also had parents who suffered from it as well. Yet crossbite can also occur in those with no family history of it. In that case, it is often the result of problems with the baby teeth--either teeth that stayed in the mouth longer than usual, or fell out too quickly. Crossbite is also strongly linked to the habitual behavior of thumb sucking, which exerts a deforming pressure on the palate and teeth. Persistent thumb sucking thus often leads to teeth that are bowed outward.


The degree to which crossbite represents a problem has everything to do with its severity. Extreme cases can contribute to a wide-range of other dental ailments, from gingivitis to tooth loss. Pronounced crossbite may also result in physical deformations of the mouth, and can contribute to jaw problems such as TMD. It can also make chewing more difficult since the teeth are not able to grasp, grind, or tear food as effectively.

Treatment Options

The good news is that, so long as it is caught in time, dental crossbite can be treated quite effectively, thus preventing worse problems from forming. The particular corrective method used will depend largely on the type and severity of the crossbite. Orthodontic devices are one of the most common forms of treatment, with braces, retainers, and quad helixes all being effective on their own.

To learn more, contact a dentist like Bradley T Piotrowski DDS MSD LLC