Orthodontic problems can be divided into:
- Dental, when they are associated with the position, size, shape and number of the teeth
- Skeletal, when they are associated with the size and the relation between the upper and lower jaw
- Dentoskeletal, as a combination of the above
Orthodontic problems can be attributed to one or , more commonly, a combination of factors:
- Genetic factors
- Local factors
- Environmental factors
Some common examples are cases with extreme protrusion of the upper teeth (overbite) , prognathism of the lower jaw (underbite), missing permanent teeth, presence of supernumerary (extra) teeth.
Early loss of primary teeth (usually due to caries) without appropriate space maintenance can create an orthodontic problem. Some cases of dental trauma can also contribute to orthodontic problems.
Unfavorable and prolonged habits and functions performed by a child can negatively affect the development of the dentition and/or the skeletal growth. Prolonged use of pacifiers, finger/thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrust (protrusion of tongue between the teeth during swallowing) are some examples.
Correction of orthodontics problems contributes to:
- greater protection from dental trauma (in cases of protrusion of upper front teeth)
- better oral hygiene (straight teeth and attached gingiva can be easier cleaned)
- improved function of the dentoskeletal system (occlusion, mastication, speech, temporomandibular joint)
- improved aesthetics of the teeth and face
- enhanced self-esteem