A misaligned bite, also known as crossbite, is a dental condition when the upper and lower teeth don’t meet to form normal dental arches. Besides affecting the cosmetic appearance of the teeth, lips, and mouth, a misaligned bite can lead to serious health issues.
However, there are several treatment options available to straighten a misaligned bite. In today’s blog post, we’ll inform you about what having a misaligned bite means, its effects and treatment.
What is a Misaligned Bite?
In a normal bite, the two rows of teeth meet correctly. The upper teeth rest a little outside the lower teeth on both sides of the mouth. When the bite is misaligned, the upper row of teeth sits entirely outside the lower row of teeth. This condition can occur throughout the mouth cavity or at certain areas, affecting a few teeth. It’s considered as a malocclusion and should be treated.
The Effects of Having a Misaligned Bite
Crossbite patients are likely to suffer from several dental problems and other health issues. The effects of a misaligned bite include teeth grinding, tooth decay, gum disease, jaw problems, jaw muscles pain, and headaches. The condition can also lead to chronic shoulder, neck, and back pain, and even temporomandibular joint disorder. When a child suffers from a misaligned bite and it’s left untreated, the condition can gradually lead to asymmetrical or abnormal facial growth and development, which could affect their self-esteem and social life immensely.
Different Treatment Procedures for a Misaligned Bite
There are various beliefs regarding the right time of initiating treatment for crossbite. Some dentists recommend taking immediate action by the time a child reaches three years of age while some suggest waiting until the arrival of the sixth year molars of the child. No matter what you want to follow, it’s crucial that you don’t leave it untreated to protect your child from a host of complications at a later stage in life.
Treatment is also possible if you’re an adult. Depending on the cause, type, and age of the patient, a dentist or an orthodontist may recommend one of the following procedures:
- Dental Restoration: For mild cases of crossbite, a dentist usually recommends dental bonding, reshaping and capping.
- Dental Appliances: Using braces, palatal expanders, or headgear, the dentist can adjust the spread of the teeth to match the bite pattern on both sides of the mouth. The dental expert will first examine the condition and then determine the right type of appliance for the patient to correct teeth alignment. Sometimes, an orthodontist may also use a combined therapy of two appliances, depending on the case.
- Tooth Removal: If the orthodontist finds that there’s no room to fit in dental appliances, he/she may suggest removal of some teeth.
- Surgery: Surgical procedures are suggested when the condition is left untreated for a long time, impeding the growth of the jaw in adults. In such severe cases, the surgeon corrects the jaw and as it heals, he/she fits a device to mold the jaw bone.
If your child or you suffer from a misaligned bite, visit a dentist to get the best advice for your particular case. At Dentistry on Dusk, we provide a full range of dental services and use advanced dental technologies to serve you and your family.