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A crossbite is an oral misalignment condition in which your upper and lower teeth do not properly meet when the jaws are closed. In contrast to a normal bite where the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth vertically, in a crossbite, some or all of the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth horizontally. This condition can impact both the appearance and functionality of your teeth and should be addressed to prevent potential dental issues.

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Types of Crossbites

There are two primary types of crossbites:

  • Anterior Crossbite: In this type, the upper front teeth are positioned behind the lower front teeth when the jaws are closed.
  • Posterior Crossbite: This type involves the upper teeth on one side of the mouth fitting inside the lower teeth on the same side, occurring towards the back of the mouth.

Causes of Crossbite

Crossbites may result from various factors, including:

  • Genetics: A family history of oral misalignment may contribute to the development of crossbites.
  • Abnormal Tooth Eruption: When permanent teeth do not erupt in their correct positions, crossbites can occur.
  • Thumb-sucking: Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use can impact the alignment of your teeth.
  • Mouth Breathing: Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose can affect tooth positioning.
  • Jaw Size and Shape: Irregularities in the shape or size of the jaw may lead to crossbites.
  • Missing Teeth: Gaps from missing teeth can cause adjacent teeth to shift, resulting in a crossbite.

Symptoms of Crossbite

Common symptoms of a crossbite may include:

  • Uneven teeth alignment.
  • An increased risk of dental problems such as tooth wear, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and gum recession.
  • Jaw discomfort or pain.
  • Difficulty in biting or chewing.
  • Self-esteem issues related to the appearance of your teeth.
Museum Dental Suites, offer's complete cosmetic and general dentistry in Central London
Museum Dental Suites, offer's complete cosmetic and general dentistry in Central London


A dentist will diagnose a crossbite through a comprehensive examination, which includes:

  • Visual inspection of the bite and teeth.
  • X-rays or dental scans to assess jaw and tooth positioning.
  • Dental impressions to create models for a detailed analysis.

Treatment for Crossbite

The treatment options for a crossbite depend on its severity and may include:

  • Braces: Traditional braces can be employed to correct crossbites by gradually shifting teeth into their desired positions.
  • Palatal Expander: In cases where the upper jaw is very narrow, a palatal expander may be utilized to widen it.
  • Invisalign: Invisalign clear aligners provide a discreet alternative to traditional braces for addressing crossbites.
  • Tooth Extraction: In certain situations, the removal of one or more teeth may be necessary to address a crossbite.
  • Orthognathic Surgery: Surgical intervention may be required for complex cases involving jaw irregularities.


Neglecting a crossbite may lead to various complications, including:

  • Dental wear and tear resulting from teeth misalignment.
  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders, which can cause headaches and jaw discomfort.
  • An increased risk of gum disease and gum recession.
  • Speech difficulties.
  • Reduced self-confidence.


While genetics play a crucial role in the development of crossbites, early intervention and preventive measures can be highly beneficial:

  • Promote good dental health and hygiene habits.
  • Address dental problems and misalignments promptly.
  • Encourage children to discontinue thumb-sucking or pacifier use.
  • Schedule regular check-ups for early detection and intervention.

Addressing a crossbite is crucial for achieving a beautiful smile and maintaining optimal oral health. Consult with a dentist to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific case.

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