Our smiles are important to us both to help develop our confidence and help us make a lasting impression on those we meet. When something in our smile is off, such as a chipped tooth or a crossbite, it cannot only leave us feeling unsure of ourselves, but the issue can extend into our overall oral health as well! Crossbites are a common oral ailment that can leave sufferers hoping for a solution. Fortunately, this issue is highly treatable and achieving the comfortable and confident smile you or your child dreams of is only a few dental visits away!
What is a crossbite?
A crossbite is the misalignment of a tooth or teeth that causes placement to occur in a location in the mouth other than the intended position. Some crossbites prevent the jaw from closing properly, which can lead to issues speaking, eating and chewing, and can even cause physiological damage as sufferers struggle to communicate as effortlessly as their peers.
What are the signs?
While some of the signs of a crossbite may be indicative or other health issues, when multiple signs are seen together it may be time to talk to your dentist. Signs of a crossbite include:
- Not being able to fully close your mouth so that both rows of teeth touch one another
- Having difficulty speaking or speech impediments such as a lisp
- Frequently biting down on the inner cheek or lip while trying to speak or eat
- Severe headaches
- Pain in the teeth or a specific tooth
- Pain in the jaw
What are the issues associated with having a crossbite?
In addition to the cosmetic effects of a crossbite, sufferers may notice physical ailments as well. Some people with crossbites report having severe headaches because their muscles are working overtime to compensate for a misaligned mouth. We often think of our teeth as being solely there to help us chew, but they also help to maintain the shape and support of our heads. When teeth are out of place, our facial muscles have to work extra hard to keep things together. All of this work can signal headaches in both adults and children. Additionally, people with a crossbite are more likely to suffer from tooth decay than their aligned counterparts because out of place teeth can be harder to brush and floss around.
What are my treatment options?
How your crossbite is treated will depend on the severity of your oral woes. If there are simply one or two pesky teeth that aren’t in the proper location, your dentist may suggest tooth extraction to help keep things aligned. For more extreme cases, orthodontic measures such as braces or Invisalign may be the best way to straighten everything out and leave you with two rows of perfectly aligned teeth!
If you suspect that you or your child have a crossbite and would like to have your tooth alignment inspected by your dentist, do not hesitate to call us at Carillon Family Dental in Romeoville to schedule a consultation today!