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. Seth Osterman 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 and/or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward and is usually related to the back teeth not biting properly. This problem results in a higher risk of premature tooth wear and fracture.

Protrustion Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA


The upper front teeth extend down over the lower front teeth too far, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. This problem results in a higher risk of premature incisor tooth wear and fracture.

Overbite Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA


The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth. This problem results in crowding of the teeth and a higher risk of misaligned jaw growth and gum problems.


Crossbite Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA

Crossbite Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA


Proper biting is impacted by this type of bite problem, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap enough. Openbites may encourage unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting and can result in a higher risk of premature tooth wear and fracture.

Open Bite Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA


Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding is not only unaesthetic but also creates difficulty for the proper cleaning of the teeth and gum tissues. In growing children crowding can often be corrected by expansion rather than the removal of teeth.

Crowding Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA


Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth or undesirable habits such as a tongue thrust. Missing teeth most often result in bite problems which are best corrected but if no teeth are missing, sometimes the spacing may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.

Spacing Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA

Dental Midlines not aligned

This type of problem is often the result of other significant underlying problems such as bite problems, impacted teeth, extra teeth or missing teeth. Bite problems commonly carry a higher risk of premature wear and/or fracture of the teeth. Dental Midlines Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA


In an underbite, the lower teeth extend out in front of the upper teeth. This can be a result of the upper jaw being too far back and/or the lower jaw growing too far forward. Underbites are both unaesthetic and, like most other bite problems, often cause premature wear and sometimes fracture of the teeth.

Underbite Lafayette Orthodontics Lafayette CA