Crossbite: know the types, causes and treatments


If a person has a crossbite, it means that when they bite their teeth, the upper arch closes inside the lower arch because the upper arch is narrower.

Here are the common types of crossbite that exist

There are two types of crossbites depending on the part of the mouth where they are located:

  • Posterior crossbites affect the area of the premolars and molars.
  • Anterior crossbites affect the area of the incisors.

On the other hand, there is another classification of crossbite as bilateral, which occurs when the problem is on the right and left side, or unilateral when it only affects one of the two sides.

Crossbite can also affect only one tooth rather than all of them.

Finally, another classification of crossbite would be according to its origin:

  • Crossbite of dental origin occurs when the maxilla and mandible have normal development, but the teeth have an incorrect position.
  • Skeletal crossbite occurs when the upper jaw is narrower than the mandible or lower jaw.

Most usual causes that lead to crossbite in patients

In our dental clinic in Malaga we have seen many patients who suffer from crossbite. We have therefore been able to classify the origin of this problem into two main groups: there are patients who have crossbite due to genetic factors, and those who have habits that have developed this problem.

Within the genetic factors we can distinguish:

  • Maxillary hypoplasia, which occurs when the upper jaw is underdeveloped and is therefore small and narrow.
  • Mandibular hyperplasia, which occurs when the lower jaw or mandible is overdeveloped.
  • In some cases, patients have both hypoplasia and hyperplasia.

Among the habits that we have detected in crossbite patients that have caused this condition, we highlight the following:

  • Breathing through the mouth instead of through the nose, known as oral breathing.
  • Incorrect placement of the tongue.
  • Thumb sucking in the case of children.

Treatment of crossbite in children and adults

In order to treat crossbite, we must distinguish whether the patient is a child or an adult.

In the case of children, as their teeth are still growing, it is easier to correct the crossbite. At Gross Dentistas Dental Clinic we correct crossbite in children with an expander in the palate to increase the size of the arch. It lasts for a few months, during which time the expander is progressively widened until the arch is the perfect width. This expander can be fixed or removable.

In the case of adults, the treatment of crossbite is more complex because their bones have finished growing. Therefore, to correct crossbite in adults, some patients have to undergo surgery on the upper jaw to enlarge it and on the lower jaw to reduce its size.

Treatment for habits for children and adults

The habits we have mentioned that often cause crossbite in children and adults can also be treated. Some we treat in our dental clinic in Malaga and others require the collaboration of other professionals.

In the case of mouth breathing, you should see an allergist or an ear, nose and throat specialist.

To correct the position of the tongue, we have a speech therapy service that will teach the patient exercises to improve the position of the tongue.

If you would like more information about crossbite or how to correct it, make an appointment with Gross Dentistas and we will examine your case.

Ortodoncista Dra. Concha Gross de Bethencourt

Ortodoncista especializada en el sistema de ortodoncia invisible, extensa trayectoria profesional y un gran número de pacientes satisfechos con los resultados obtenidos tras la finalización de su tratamiento.

Doctoralia | Masquemédicos | Topdoctors

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