Common Problems

When the teeth or jaws do not fit together properly it is referred to as a malocclusion, therefore orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the problem. If left untreated, these orthodontic problems, malocclusions, can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of the teeth and enamel, and even increase the chance of injury to the teeth and jaw joints. A few of the most common orthodontic malocclusions are explained below:


underbite.pngAn underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending out too far, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.


crossbite.pngA crossbite occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. In order to close the mouth, patients usually move their lower jaw forward or to the side when closing. This incorrect bite results in an improper use of the lower jaw and sometimes brings about facial asymmetry.


protrusion.pngThe appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by protrusion. This is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending forward enough.


overbite.pngAn overbite is present when the upper front teeth extend too far out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Problems often associated with an overbite include a "gummy" smile, protruding lips, and excessive incisor wear.


crowding.pngCrowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt into the mouth and is the most common reason for braces. Not only is crowding aesthetically unattractive, but it has also been linked to periodontal problems and dental decay because it is more difficult to clean overlapping tooth surfaces.


spacing.pngSpacing between teeth may be caused by missing teeth, excessive room in the jaw, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue. Spacing is the opposite of crowding and is another common reason for braces. 


openbite.pngAn open bite is where the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite and it may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as forward tongue thrusting when swallowing or thumb sucking. An early evaluation and intervention is essential in correcting an open bite.


midlines.pngUpper jaw and lower jaw dental midlines that do not vertically match up are not only aesthetically displeasing, but also likely evidence that the back teeth do not fit appropriately. This may negatively impact jaw function and proper dental function.