Malocclusions and Other Common Problems

A malocclusion is a deviation in intramaxillary and /or intermaxillary relations of teeth from normal occlusion. Also referred to as a bad bite, malocclusions are often associated with other dentofacial deformities.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontist by age 7.

Common problems like these listed below may benefit from early diagnosis. Get a referral to your orthodontic specialist for a comprehensive evaluation for your child.

Common Problems - Kids Orthodontics

Photo Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists

Crossbite of Front or Back Teeth

The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.


The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.


The lower front teeth extend over the upper front teeth, less common than the overbite and mainly effecting those of Asian decent.


Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower teeth do not overlap. Open bite may be caused by things like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.


Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times tooth removal can be avoided.

Excess Spacing

The opposite of crowding is spacing, an excess of space for teeth which results in gaps between the teeth.  This problem often occurs when the teeth are smaller than the available space.

Dental Midlines Not Matched

This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.

Also, if you notice any of further common problems in your child, check with your orthodontist:

  • early or late loss of baby teeth
  • difficulty in chewing and/or biting
  • mouth breathing
  • jaws that shift and/or make sounds
  • speech difficulties
  • biting the roof of the mouth or cheek
  • facial imbalance
  • grinding and/or clenching of the teeth

Final treatment decisions should be made between the parent, child’s dentist and orthodontist.

Common Problems in Adults

Further more, orthodontics are not only for kids, adults can benefit greatly from having orthodontic treatment too.

Here are 7 reasons the correction of orthodontic problems are important for adults:

  1. Help prevent and/or improve periodontal problems
  2. Help prevent and/or reduce further bone loss around the teeth
  3. Improves ability of the dentist to restore missing teeth
  4. Improves aesthetics for an all round better smile and facial appearance
  5. Improves the function of the teeth
  6. Improves self-confidence and self-esteem
  7. Improves oral health
Common Problems - Adult Orthodontics

Photo Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists

Some of the malocclusions and common problems in adults which are illustrated above photos, may be improved by orthodontic treatment.

Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Panucci today… because everyone should love to smile!

Patricia J. Panucci DmD, MS – Specialist in Orthodontics For Children and Adults in Southern California

Common Problems