Understanding and Correcting Crossbites

Crossbite | Frugé Orthodontics in Baton Rouge, LA

Having crowded teeth is a complex dental condition where the upper and lower teeth do not align properly. Typically, the upper teeth sit slightly outside the lower teeth at the front and sides of the mouth, but in crossbite cases, this natural alignment is disrupted. This misalignment can occur at the front of the mouth, known as an anterior crossbite, or at the sides and back, referred to as a posterior crossbite. The condition can affect a single tooth or a group of teeth, leading to an uneven bite that can significantly impact a person's oral health and functionality.

The repercussions of an untreated crossbite are far-reaching. Beyond the immediate effects on appearance and self-esteem, it can lead to excessive wear of tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. More severe cases can result in jaw pain, headaches, and even temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), as the jaw compensates for the misalignment during chewing. Breathing issues, particularly at night, can also arise due to the altered position of the jaw and teeth, potentially leading to sleep apnea. Given these potential complications, understanding the nature and impact of crossbites is crucial for seeking timely and effective treatment.

What Causes a Crossbite?

Crossbites are often rooted in genetic factors, with jaw size and shape, as well as tooth size, being inherited traits that can predispose individuals to this condition. When there is a discrepancy between the size of the jaw and the size of the teeth, overcrowding or abnormal spacing can occur, leading to a crossbite. Additionally, the hereditary influence on the growth patterns of the jaw can result in misalignments where the upper and lower jaws do not match up properly, exacerbating the risk of developing a crossbite.

Environmental factors and habits during childhood also play a significant role in the development of crossbites. Prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle feeding beyond the recommended age can affect the growth of the jaws and teeth alignment. Similarly, habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting apply pressure on the teeth and jaws, potentially leading to misalignment. The delayed loss of baby teeth or premature loss due to dental decay or injury can further complicate the natural eruption pattern of permanent teeth, contributing to overcrowding or improper growth of the jaws. Understanding these causes is essential for early intervention and prevention of crowded teeth, highlighting the importance of regular dental check-ups and addressing harmful oral habits in children at an early stage.

Orthodontic Crossbite Treatments in Baton Rouge

Patients hoping to treat crowded teeth in Baton Rouge have access to a wide array of orthodontic treatments at Frugé Orthodontics. Our clinic is skilled in correcting dental misalignments with a focus on personalized care. The choice of treatment is highly dependent on the severity and type of crossbite, along with individual patient needs and lifestyle preferences.

Surgical Options for Crowded Teeth

For severe crossbite cases where the misalignment is due to skeletal issues, surgical intervention may be necessary. Orthognathic surgery, often referred to as jaw surgery, is performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons in collaboration with orthodontists. This procedure aims to realign the jaw bones, creating a more balanced bite and improving overall facial aesthetics. It’s usually recommended when non-surgical treatments are deemed ineffective or insufficient. Post-surgery, patients may need to wear braces or other orthodontic devices to fine-tune the alignment of their teeth. This integrated approach ensures the best functional and aesthetic outcomes, although it’s considered a more invasive option.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Crowded Teeth

For patients with less severe crossbites or those where the issue lies primarily with the teeth rather than the jaw, non-surgical treatments are often effective. This category includes braces, Invisalign, and retainers, which are designed to gradually move the teeth into the correct position.

Crossbite Braces

Traditional metal braces are a common and effective treatment for correcting crossbites. They consist of brackets attached to the teeth, connected by wires that the orthodontist periodically adjusts to move the teeth into alignment. Braces are highly effective for treating a wide range of misalignment issues, including complex crossbites. They offer orthodontists precise control over the movement of each tooth, which is crucial for correcting crossbites.

Invisalign for Teeth Crowding

For those seeking a less visible treatment option, Invisalign offers a series of clear, removable aligners custom-made to fit over the teeth. These aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing, offering a more aesthetic and convenient treatment option. Invisalign is best suited for mild to moderate crossbites and requires the patient's commitment to wearing the aligners for the recommended 22 hours per day.

Retainers After Crossbite Treatment

After the active phase of orthodontic treatment, whether it be braces or Invisalign, retainers are often used to maintain the teeth in their new position. While not a treatment for crossbites on their own, retainers are crucial for preventing teeth from gradually shifting back to their original position, a common issue known as relapse.

Importance of Early Detection and Treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment of crossbites are vital to prevent long-term issues such as jaw pain, TMJ disorders, and uneven wear of the teeth. Regular dental check-ups can help in early detection and timely corrective measures.

At Frugé Orthodontics, we understand that every case is unique. Dr. Frugé and our team will craft a personalized treatment plan to effectively correct your bite, ensuring comfort and efficiency throughout the process. Our commitment to your health extends beyond initial treatment. Regular follow-ups and adjustments ensure that your treatment progresses as planned, with the goal of achieving optimal results.

Correct Your Crossbite Today

If you or a loved one in the Baton Rouge area is dealing with a mouth of crowded teeth, you don’t have to live with it forever. Contact Frugé Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation, and speak with our caring team that’s ready to answer all your questions to guide you through the treatment process.