Dental crowding is the most common orthodontic problem every orthodontist deals with. Although multiple factors can contribute to crowding, this problem primarily stems from the great individual variability between tooth size and jaw size.
Crowding is often interrelated with other problems, such as impacted teeth, or retained primary (baby) teeth. Crossbite of the front or back teeth can also be associated with crowding.
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.
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 posture of the tongue pushing against the front teeth. A posterior openbite is a problem in which the back teeth do not meet vertically, which keeps the jaw from functioning properly.
Also known as an overbite, 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, that usually results in excessive eruption of the upper or lower incisors, or both.
A posterior crossbite will usually result from a narrow upper jaw or abnormally wide lower jaw. 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.