Common Problems

Our teeth need to be aligned in their proper position in order to promote functionality and improve our oral health. Without proper treatment, long-term oral damage may occur, such as speech impediments and jaw joint complications that are difficult to reverse. The most common orthodontic problem is called malocclusion or a “bad bite.” A bad bite can be genetic, but there are other factors, such as finger-sucking, dental disease, poor oral hygiene, or early or late loss of baby teeth, that can contribute to this problem.

It is important you schedule an appointment with Dr. Lauren Cai, so that she can catch and correct early dental issues to prevent further damage. Here is a list of some common orthodontic problems that you should be aware of:


An underbite is determined by the lower jaw extending out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.


Spacing problems may be caused by missing or undersized teeth. For cosmetic issues or to prevent oral disease, braces is a popular treatment option for correcting spaced teeth.

Teeth ProtrusionTeeth 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. This is usually caused by the jaw position or finger sucking habits.


Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gums. Crowding is usually corrected by expansion in order to avoid tooth removal; however, if the case is severe, then removal may be necessary.


The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. The lower jaw will move forward or to the side in order to close the mouth, which puts stress on the jaw muscles and leads to headaches or chronic jaw pain.


An overbite is when 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. Problems with an overbite include protruding lips, “gummy” smile, and excessive incisor wear.


Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Sometimes, the lower front teeth can bite into the roof of the mouth, which can cause discomfort and pain. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.

Dental MidlinesDental Midlines

This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function. The most noticeable feature is the line between your two upper front teeth, and your two lower front teeth are not symmetrical to the center of your nose.

Schedule An Appointment With Dr. Lauren Cai

Many orthodontic problems can go unnoticed by patients, which is why you should schedule regular check-ups with Dr. Lauren Cai. By evaluating every aspect of your bite, she can determine the appropriate treatment plan, whether it’s using braces or other types of orthodontic appliances. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us!

Dr. Lauren Cai

  • Longview Office - 870 12th Ave., Longview, WA 98632 Phone: 360-425-8210 Fax: 360-577-1605
  • Vancouver Office - 15593 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98684 Phone: 360-882-5090 Fax: 360-882-5121

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