Common Orthodontic Problems


When people talk about an underbite they mean their bottom front teeth overlap their top teeth. Severity can vary between a mild underbite, where the two rows of teeth almost meet; and a situation wherein the teeth don’t meet at all because the gap is so wide.

Some of the problems caused by underbites are:

  • Eating Difficulties
  • Challenges with speaking
  • Chronic jaw or joint (TMJ) pain, as well as head- and earaches
  • Tooth decay from excessive wear of the tooth enamel
  • Chronic mouth breathing, halitosis, bacterial infections, sleep apnea, snoring, and other nighttime breathing difficulties.


Crossbite is when one or some of the bottom teeth are outside of the top teeth when the teeth are closed together. This can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics and environmental influences such as diet or trauma.


It is also called a “deep bite”, The upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth or even completely cover them.

A deep bite occurs when there is excessive space between the upper and lower jaw. This causes the upper front teeth to significantly overlap the lower ones.

Causes of Overbite:

  1. An overdeveloped upper jaw or underdeveloped lower jaw
  2. Thumb sucking
  3. Prolonged bottle usage
  4. Tongue-Thrusting
  5. Chewing on foreign objects


Overjet is actually different than overbite, even though it is often lumped into the same category. Overjet is when there is a gap between the top front teeth and the bottom front teeth. The teeth are slanted at an angle instead of simply resting past the bottom teeth, as with overbite. It can be genetic or can be caused by the same issues caused by overbite.


Crowding is often genetic and can be because of an underdeveloped jaw, causing teeth to compete for the same space in the jaw. This plays into a number of other dental issues.


Spacing occurs when there is too much space in between the teeth. Most noticeable in the front teeth, spacing can occur anywhere in the mouth where teeth do not touch. If you see spacing in your young child, this is rarely a cause for concern. Usually, as a child matures, so does their smile as permanent teeth come in, teeth should fill in the gaps. In other cases, however, the spacing may be too much and orthodontics is required.

Open Bite

An open bite occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not meet when the mouth is closed. When a person closes their jaw, the teeth will have a gap or opening.

What causes an open bite? This problem is mostly passed down by genetics. An open bite can cause difficulty in eating and most often leads to increased wear on the back teeth. Other causes are prolonged pacifier, thumb-sucking, or tongue thrusting. Tongue thrusting happens when you push the tongue through the teeth during swallowing or while speaking.

Types of Open Bites:

Anterior open bite is defined as the front teeth not connecting properly when the back teeth have already made contact the opposite is a posterior open bite, where the back teeth don’t touch when the front teeth are closed.

Mismatched Dental Midlines

The two dental midlines are in between your two front and two bottom teeth. If the midlines do not match up, this can cause jaw pain, problems with eating, and other problems.

Trust Harris Orthodontics with Your Smile Today

You deserve treatment that is specialized and tailored to your perfect smile. The number of orthodontic problems is wide and complicated, and Dr. Harris has extensive training and experience to resolve these issues and help you smile with confidence!