Many patients find overlapping/crowded or spaced teeth to be the most obvious dental problems. Besides being an esthetic concern, these conditions can cause dental health problems. Crowded teeth are difficult to keep clean and people with spaces may frequently get food stuck between their teeth, both of which contributes to the development of cavities and gum disease. There are many other common orthodontic issues that exist that also affect oral health:
Upper teeth are meant to fit over the lower teeth like a lid on a jar. When the “lid” is too small for the “jar”, a crossbite exists. Crossbites can be present on the back or front teeth and can cause shifting of the jaw when biting and/or unsightly wear on the teeth.
Deep Bite/Large Overbite
A deep bite exists when the upper front teeth overlap the bottom teeth too much. When biting down, this means that the lower front teeth aren’t visible enough. This type of bite can cause wear of the front teeth as well.
When biting with the back teeth, if your front teeth don’t come together and you see space between your upper and lower teeth, you have an open bite. Open bites prevent people from being able to efficiently bite into food. This type of bite problem is often caused by a habit such as thumb sucking, excessive nail biting, or having a tongue thrust (when the tongue pushes forward, rather than staying on your palate, while swallowing).
Overjet is the horizontal distance between the upper and lower teeth, regardless of how much they overlap vertically. People may describe this as having upper teeth that “stick out”. Overjet is often incorrectly referred to as overbite.
Class II Malocclusion
This type of bite problem involves the lower teeth being too far behind the upper teeth, which results in a large overjet, an unstable bite, and wear on the back teeth.