Common Problems

When a person's teeth or jaws do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the problem. If left untreated, these orthodontic problems, often referred to as malocclusions, can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel, and even increase the chance of injury to the teeth and jaw joints.


An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending too far out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth. With an underbite, it is impossible to chew with your front teeth.


This malocclusion 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 jaws and sometimes brings about facial asymmetry. A crossbite of the back teeth is almost always due to a narrow upper jaw. This often causes crowding, mouth breathing, protrusion of the front teeth, and a narrow smile.

Excessive Overjet

The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.

Overbite (Deep Bite)

The upper front teeth extend too far down 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 most important excessive wear of the lower and upper front teeth.


Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gums. It is the most common reason for braces. Not only is crowding unattractive, but it has also been linked to periodontal problems and dental decay because it is harder to clean overlapping teeth's surfaces. Also crowding often compromises the blood supply of the surrounding gum tissue.


Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue. Spacing is another common reason for braces. The opposite of crowding, spacing is most commonly caused by excessive jaw room for the size of the erupting teeth.


Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may be caused by unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. An early evaluation and intervention is essential in correcting an openbite.

Dental Midlines not Matched

Dental midlines that do not match are evident when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately. This may negatively impact jaw function and proper dental function. This is often caused by asymmetrical jaw growth, and/or a discrepancy of the size of the upper teeth to the lower teeth. Missing or crowding may also cause a midline shift.

Congenitally absent teeth

One in ten of us has one or more missing permanent teeth. The most common are second bicuspids and upper lateral incisors. This may result in significant shifting and spacing of adjacent teeth and aesthetic issues.

Impacted (upper) cuspids

Upper cuspids are most likely to become impacted as these are usually last to erupt. If the upper jaw is narrow and/or crowding is present, cuspids will often migrate into the palatal area if normal eruption is impossible.