Common Orthodontic Issues
Crowding of the teeth is probably the most common orthodontic problem. Although many factors contribute to dental crowding, this problem typically stems from a discrepancy between the space in each jaw and the size of the teeth.
Crowding is often one of several orthodontic problems. Crowding can be the cause or result of other problems, such as impacted teeth, retained teeth or teeth that do not naturally fall out. Crossbite of the front or rear teeth can also cause the teeth to become crowded.
Spaces between teeth are another common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care. Like crowding, spacing may be related to a tooth-to-jaw size disharmony. Spacing may occur between the front and the back teeth. Tooth size discrepancies, such as smaller teeth or abnormally shaped teeth, can also create abnormal spacing.
Class II problems represent an abnormal bite relationship in which the upper jaw and teeth are located in front of the lower jaw and teeth. Class II patients usually exhibit a convex facial profile with a recessed chin. A skeletal Class II problem occurs when the upper molars are forward of the lower molars. This gives the patient the appearance of having a recessed lower jaw, a protruding upper jaw, or both.
Class III problems are primarily genetic in origin. In this instance, the lower jaw and teeth are positioned in front of the upper jaw and teeth. The lower jaw may appear to be excessively large, but in many cases, the lack of upper jaw development is at fault.
An openbite can occur with the front teeth, known as an anterior openbite or with the back teeth, referred to as a posterior openbite. An anterior openbite is the lack of vertical overlap of the front teeth and can usually be traced to jaw disharmony or habits such as thumb sucking or the thrusting of the tongue against the front teeth. A posterior openbite is a problem in which the back teeth do not meet vertically prohibiting the jaw to function properly.
A deep bite is excessive vertical overlapping of the front teeth and is generally found in association with a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. It usually results in excessive eruption of the upper incisors, lower incisors, or both.
A posterior crossbite will usually result from a narrow upper jaw, an abnormally wide lower jaw or both. A narrow upper jaw will often force a patient to move the lower jaw forward or to the side when closing into a stable bite. When closed into this accommodating position, the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth. A deep bite is excessive vertical overlapping of the front teeth and is generally found in association with a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. It usually results in excessive eruption of the upper incisors, lower incisors, or both. Crossbite can lead to facial asymmetry.
Also known as a gummy smile, this orthodontic problem gives the appearance of excessive exposed gums on the upper arch. There are several treatment options for this problem. In severe cases surgery may be necessary to actually remove a section of the upper jaw shifting the jaw upward vertically reducing the amount of exposure of the upper gum tissue.