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. Henna Kim 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 jaw not extending far enough forward.


The upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth too much, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. This bite can cause damage to the lower incisors.


The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. This bite will often lead to loss of gum tissue (gingival recession) and over time the tooth can be lost.

Open Bite

Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Open bite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting and improper swallowing pattern.


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


Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, small or misshaped teeth which may need restoring, or improper tongue habits causing teeth to move apart and spread out.


In an underbite, the lower jaw extends out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in the front of the upper front teeth. This bite can often be treated earlier as a child to help with jaw growth and proper bite formation.