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Common Problems

Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment in Gaithersburg, MD

At North Potomac Orthodontics, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile they truly feel proud of. As a leading orthodontist serving North Potomac, Gaithersburg, Kentlands/Lakelands, Rockville and surrounding communities, we're proud to offer a wide range of orthodontic treatments ranging from traditional metal braces to exciting alternatives like Invisalign. We are a comprehensive, full-service orthodontic practice, which means we can treat virtually every orthodontic problem – including all of the most common malocclusions, or bad bites. 

The Most Common Orthodontic Problems

While a lucky few of us are born with perfect teeth, the vast majority of people will develop an orthodontic problem, also called a malocclusion, during their lifetime. Malocclusions occur when the teeth or jaws are misaligned or don't fit together properly, and if left untreated, they can cause serious problems in the appearance and function of the bite and the mouth. Thankfully, Dr. Harrington and our team of orthodontic specialists are equipped to treat all of the most common malocclusions, no matter how severe the orthodontic condition.


underbite.pngUnderbite occurs when the lower jaw extends out past the upper jaw, causing the upper front teeth to sit behind the lower front teeth when the mouth is closed. 


crossbite.pngCrossbite is characterized by a mismatch in jaw alignment that causes the upper teeth to sit inside of the lower teeth when the mouth is closed, often causing patients to move their lower jaw forward or to the side when opening or closing the mouth. Without treatment, crossbite can lead to misaligned jaw growth, tooth stratification, improper use of the lower jaws, and in some cases, facial asymmetry. 

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion

protrusion.pngThis occurs when the upper teeth jut forward, extending too far out over the lower teeth. We'll often recommend early treatment for this malocclusion, as it puts the front teeth at increased risk of trauma and damage. 


overbite.pngOverbite is the opposite of underbite, occurring when the upper front teeth extend too far out over the lower teeth or when the lower jaw doesn't extend far enough to meet the upper jaw. In extreme cases, overbite can cause the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Without treatment, overbite can cause a "gummy" smile, protruding lips, or excessive incisor wear. 


crowding.pngCrowding is the most common reason for braces, and it's caused by insufficient space in the dental arch to accommodate all of the adult teeth. This cause the teeth to grow in crooked, causing aesthetic problems and also making it harder to clean the teeth, which increases vulnerability to dental decay. 


spacing.pngSpacing is the opposite of crowding, occurring when there's too much space in the dental arch, causing gaps between the teeth. Spacing may have functional impacts, but in other cases it may be a purely cosmetic issue. 


openbite.pngOpenbite is usually the result of parafunctional childhood habits like tongue thrusting or prolonged thumb sucking, and it's characterized by the upper and lower front teeth slanting forward to the point that they don't overlap when the mouth is closed. Early treatment is usually recommended for openbite, as this malocclusion can impair speech, chewing, and bite function. 

Mismatched Dental Midlines

This condition occurs when the back bite fails to line up correctly, impairing jaw function and leading to poor dental function. 


Schedule a Consultation with Your Gaithersburg, MD Orthodontist

While there are many variants and manifestations of orthodontic problems, these malocclusions are by far the most common issues – and thankfully, we can easily treat all of them at our Gaithersburg orthodontic office. If you think you might be suffering from one of these malocclusions or you're simply interested in improving your smile, we'd love to hear from you. Use our easy online form to request a consultation with us today!


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