Maxillary expansion can create room to alleviate crowding, align the jaw relationships, increase nasal airflow, treat certain cases of bedwetting and other airway issues. Maxillary expansion is considered essential in the presence of a posterior cross-bite.
Maxillary expansion has been successfully used to treat:
- Recurrent Otitis Media (recurrent ear infections)
- Nocturnal Enuresis (bed wetting)
- Nasal Obstruction (airway insufficiency can affect a child’s development)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (in pre-pubertal children; there is a peak incidence of OSA at 4 years of age)
- Conductive Hearing Loss (related to maxillary constriction and probably associated with airway issues, eg enlarged tonsils, adenoids and lingual tonsil)
Maxillary expansion is more efficient at younger ages; the bones are more pliable and the suture between the two halves of the maxilla displays less “locking”. With aging, there is an increase in the amount of dental (tooth) expansion versus skeletal separation of the maxillary halves.
These opinions are meant for educational purposes and are in no way an exhaustive explanation of orthodontic diagnosis. Any suspicion of a condition mentioned should be confirmed with a certified specialist in orthodontics.