Common Orthodontic Problems

Every patient is unique and every case is different! When Dr. Matsumoto develops your treatment plan, it’s 100% personalized to you.

There are common orthodontic problems that we see in new patients at our Porters Neck office in Wilmington, NC, but your specific experience, your preferences, and your ultimate smile goals make your case one-of-a-kind!

Underbite (Malocclusion)

When a patient has an underbite, this means the lower jaw is extending further than the upper jaw. This condition can cause pain and difficulty when chewing or speaking.

Overbite (Malocclusion)

When the upper jaw extends further than the lower jaw, this characterizes an overbite condition. Depending on how severe the condition is, an overbite can make it challenging to eat and chew properly. In some cases, the lower teeth will meet the roof of the mouth—ouch!

Crossbite (Malocclusion)

When the upper teeth are positioned inside the lower teeth, this is called a crossbite. This may be a posterior crossbite (in the back of the mouth) or an anterior crossbite (toward the front of the mouth). 

Crossbites can affect individual teeth or multiple teeth in a row. This condition is often caused by irregular tooth eruption, late loss of baby teeth or thumb sucking during childhood. It can also occur due to a mismatch in the size of the upper and lower jaws. 

Open Bite (Malocclusion)

If some of the top teeth don’t meet the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed, either in the back of the mouth or the front, this is called an open bite. The top teeth should overlap the bottom teeth slightly in a healthy alignment.

An open bite can result from skeletal development problems and childhood habits, like thumb sucking.

Protrusion (Malocclusion)

A protrusion, also known as an overjet condition, occurs when the front teeth protrude outward. Commonly called “buck teeth”, an overjet generally results from underdeveloped jaw bones, or thumb sucking.


Although it is normal to have some spaces between primary (baby) teeth, excessive gaps or spaces between the teeth can also be caused by a few factors, including excessive space in the mouth, missing teeth congenitally or due to cavities or trauma, as well as childhood habits (like thumb sucking).

Crowded Teeth

Teeth that are overlapping are considered ‘crowded’. More often than not, crowding is the result of insufficient room in the mouth. When the jaws aren’t wide enough to fit all teeth, the teeth start to overlap each other as they’re emerging. 

In some cases, crowded teeth can be treated with a palatal expander appliance during childhood, while the jaws are still developing. In severe cases of crowding, Dr. Matsumoto will discuss the best treatment route with you!

How We Treat Common Orthodontic Problems

There is no one-size-fits-all approach with us! We treat every case on an individual basis. When you visit Dr. Matsumoto for your consultation, he’ll examine your teeth and bite to determine which treatment method will be most effective for your case.

Dr. Matsumoto will consider every detail to create a treatment plan, 100% personalized to you. In most cases, you’ll be able to choose between self-ligating clear ceramic braces, self-ligating metal braces, Brius or Invisalign clear aligners. An appliance may be used alongside treatment to achieve the greatest results in the shortest amount of time. 

teen carries child on back to orthodontic appointment

Have questions about common orthodontic problems?

We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Dr. Matsumoto and our experienced team are here to guide you, so you can experience a positive treatment process while you achieve your perfect smile.

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation at our convenient Porters Neck office in Wilmington, NC today!