5 Common Orthodontic Issues and the Problems They Create

Posted on 02/20/2018 by Dr. Lovrovich
A woman suffering from overcrowding teeth.

Orthodontic problems are described as “malocclusion,” and these issues can lead to tooth damage while causing problems with chewing and cleaning your teeth.

If you are experiencing one of these issues, it is important to understand the problems that they can create. Your orthodontist can help you to develop an effective treatment plan that will improve your dental and oral health.


The term crowding refers to a lack of space for all of the teeth to fit normally in the jaws. The teeth could be displaced, crooked, or twisted, and these issues result when there is discord between the tooth and jaw size relationship.

Crowding can result from the improper eruption of the teeth, including issues with location and which teeth erupt first, and the problem needs to be corrected for a variety of reasons:

  • To prevent dental decay
  • To ensure that all surfaces of the teeth can be cleaned properly
  • To reduce your risk of developing gum disease
  • To ensure proper functioning of the teeth
  • To make your smile appear more attractive

Failing to correct crowded teeth can lead to occlusal trauma, chipping, uneven wear, bone loss, or overlapping teeth that worsen with time if left untreated.


Spacing is the exact opposite of crowding. This issue involves excess space for the teeth, resulting in gaps. The condition generally occurs when the teeth are smaller than the space available for them. Missing teeth, impacted teeth, and other abnormal tissue attachments can also cause spacing issues. Problems with spacing can lead to gum issues and premature posterior wear, and this problem should be corrected for several reasons:

  • To improve the appearance of your smile
  • To restore proper functioning of the teeth
  • To avoid gum problems that can occur as a result of a lack of protection by the teeth

Deep Bite

A deep bite is a condition that may occur when the teeth fail to line up properly. If you are living with a deep bite, it means that your upper teeth have overlapped with your lower teeth. Your lower incisors will also make contact with the gum tissue found in the upper arch of the jaw. A deep bite can lead to a variety of malocclusion-related issues, including:

  • Improper functioning of the anterior teeth
  • Occlusal trauma
  • Abnormal chipping or wear of the lower anterior teeth
  • Lower front teeth that can over-erupt

Additionally, TMJ issues may also result, including tension of the chewing muscles, jaw joint pain, neck pain, and headaches.


An overjet is a type of protrusion in which the lower teeth sit too far behind the front teeth on the upper jaw. This is typically caused by an improper alignment of the molars, but it can also result from skeletal imbalances between the jaws. This orthodontic issue needs to be corrected to prevent premature wear and posterior tooth fracture or trauma.


A crossbite is a type of malocclusion where the teeth have a more lingual positioning than the corresponding teeth on the other jaw. When you bite down, the upper teeth will fall inside of the lower teeth. Obviously, this can cause some major issues with biting and chewing, but other potential symptoms include loose back teeth, increased sensitivity, and accidental biting of the cheek and lips when talking or eating.

TMJ related issues can also result, including jaw joint pain, locking of the jaw, limited movement, or a clicking and popping noise within the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth.

If you have additional questions about how orthodontic treatment might be able to improve your smile, contact our office to set up a consultation.

4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 140
Seattle WA 98105-3941

Tel: (206) 525-7000
Fax: (206) 525-0479

Driving Directions