Common Problems

Orthodontic problems can affect anyone – in fact, our teeth are almost never naturally perfect. Malocclusion, or a “bad bite”, can cause problems with chewing, oral hygiene, speaking and aesthetics. A bad bite can be genetic, or can be caused by thumb sucking, dental disease, poor dental hygiene, accidents, birth defects or other medical conditions.

Being educated about the orthodontic problem you or your child may have is the first step to correcting it. Orthodontic treatment performed by Dr. David Dubiner and Dr. Hayley Woolfson can improve both the functionality of your bite and the appearance of your smile.

Below are some examples of the most common orthodontic problems.

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion

The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.


Deep Bite (Excessive Overbite)

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.


Crossbites (Anterior and Posterior)

The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. This can happen with the front (an “Anterior Crossbite”) and/or the back teeth (a “Posterior Crossbite”).

Open Bite

Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Habits including thumb sucking and tongue thrusting often contribute to this type of bite.


In an underbite, the lower front teeth sit in the front of the upper front teeth. It is most beneficial to address this type of bite at an early age.


Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt in the dental arch.


Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, tooth size anomalies and habits.

Rotated Teeth

A common cause of rotated teeth is crowding. When there isn’t enough space to erupt, a tooth’s position is affected. Trauma to the mouth during the development of your teeth can also cause teeth to emerge rotated.

Dental Midlines not Matched

This type of problem is caused by a number of factors, including dental arch asymmetries, crowding, crossbites and tooth size anomalies.

Abnormal Eruption

Abnormal eruption is when a tooth emerges through the gum in the wrong place.


Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth means that it is stuck and cannot erupt into function.  The maxillary canines (eyetooth) and wisdom teeth are most commonly impacted.

Ankylosed Primary Tooth

Ankylosed teeth are teeth that are fused to bone. When a primary tooth is ankylosed, it does not become loose and fall out like other baby teeth. As a result, this can cause problems in the permanent tooth’s eruption that follows, if one is present. An untreated ankylosed primary tooth can lead to bone loss and migration of neighboring permanent teeth.


Missing Teeth

When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will often drift into the empty space. Orthodontic treatment if often part of the solution to address areas of missing teeth and prevent or correct surrounding teeth from migrating.

Peg Laterals

This condition affects the upper lateral incisors, causing these teeth to be abnormally small in size or ‘pointy’ in shape compared to their usual more rectangular shape. Peg laterals may occur on just one or on both sides of a patient’s mouth.