Common Orthodontic Problems

These are some common orthodontic concerns. A description is given and a video showing the concern and the orthodontic correction is below.


Crowding is the lack of space for all the teeth to fit normally within the jaws. The teeth may be twisted or displaced. Crowding occurs when there is disharmony in the tooth to jaw size relationship, or when the teeth are larger than the available space. Crowding can be caused by early or late loss of primary teeth, or improper eruption of teeth


Spacing, the opposite of crowding, is an excess of space between the permanent teeth, resulting in gaps between your teeth. This generally occurs when the teeth are smaller than the available space. Spacing can also be caused by protrusive teeth, missing or impacted teeth and abnormal tissue attachments


A crossbite can occur in the front and/or sides of the mouth. One or more upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth. This can occur with a single tooth or multiple teeth. Early correction of crossbite is recommended.


An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth protrude over the lower front teeth. Generally there is not contact between the upper and lower front teeth. Overbite is due to a disproportionate amount of eruption of the front teeth, or over development of the bone that supports the teeth, and a front to back discrepancy in the growth of the upper or lower jaw.


An underbite is when the lower front teeth protrude past the upper front teeth. An underbite is usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or a combination of the two. Underbite can also be cause by upright upper incisors, missing upper teeth or a combination of all of the above. Early correction of underbite is recommended.


An openbite is an insufficient vertical overlap of the teeth, i.e. when certain teeth, usually your front teeth, do not make contact with each other. An openbite can be caused by oral habits such as tongue thrust, finger or thumb sucking, or when the jaws don’t grow evenly. Timing of treatment is critical to the overall success of the therapy.