Crowding

Crowding happens when there isn’t enough space in the jaw to accommodate all of the teeth. This can make the teeth protrude or overlap. An imbalance in the jaw to tooth size relationship is a common cause. If primary teeth fall out too early and the adult teeth come in wrong, crowding can also occur.

Spacing

Spacing is the opposite of crowding. Genetics, habits like thumb sucking, teeth that are too narrow for the jaw and missing teeth can result in spacing. Unfortunately, this isn’t just an aesthetic concern. Gaps between the teeth may lead to bone loss and gum disease.

Overjet

Overjet is another term for an overbite, which is when the lower teeth are too far behind the top front teeth. This leaves the front teeth susceptible to injury and early wear.

Crossbite

There are front crossbites and back crossbites. In the case of a front crossbite, some of the front top teeth are behind the bottom teeth. In a back crossbite, the back top teeth are positioned behind the bottom teeth. Because people tend to try to compensate for the misalignment and move their jaw to one side, if not treated, a crossbite can lead to permanent changes in facial structure and jaw growth.

Underbite

In some cases, the upper jaw may grow slower than that lower jaw, resulting in an underbite. An underbite is when the bottom teeth are positioned in front of the upper teeth. Treating kids at an early age, while their jaws are still growing, can help to prevent the need for jaw surgery as an adult.

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