Orthodontic issues affect as many as nine in ten people, so if you’re unhappy about the position of your teeth, you’re not alone. But despite how common these problems are, it’s often hard to escape the feeling of dissatisfaction you may have towards your smile. 

Appearances matter. How happy you are with your smile affects your confidence. However, in addition to the aesthetics, your misalignment could affect you in other ways, causing health complications now or later in life.

There are several different types of orthodontic issues, all with their own potential causes and symptoms. At The London Smile Clinic, we’ll help you address these issues with the right treatment. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most common orthodontic problems, identify potential causes, how these issues might affect you, and your treatment options.


Crowding occurs when teeth are too close together. Bunched teeth are often crooked. When this affects your most prominent teeth, crowding is a cosmetic problem. But there are also health concerns. 

When your teeth are crowded, brushing or flossing them is hard. Often, the teeth are so close together and positioned at such an angle that bacteria can easily build up in the areas where your brush or floss don’t reach. This increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. 

Another problem you may face is uneven wear. Crowded teeth may not align correctly, and your upper and lower teeth may touch more often, leading to thinner and weaker enamel. 

Overcrowding usually occurs when your jaw is too small to accommodate your teeth or your teeth are too large. This is often caused by genetics. Although much less common, crowding may also occur because you have extra teeth

Invisalign and lingual braces are excellent options for addressing most cases of crowding. We use Invisalign to treat mild to moderate cases, while lingual braces are suitable for more advanced treatments, too. 


Just as some smiles are overcrowded, yours might be too spaced out. Large gaps between your teeth not only affect the look of your smile but they are also havens for bacteria, increasing the chances of gum disease and jawbone deterioration. 

As with crowding, genetics is a common cause. If your jaw is too large compared to your teeth, spaces will become apparent as you reach adulthood. Losing teeth is another possible cause. When you lose teeth, dental drift can occur. This is where your neighbouring teeth gradually move into the gap, causing them to spread out. 

Both fixed lingual braces and removable Invisalign aligners effectively pull teeth closer together to close unwanted spaces. 

Protruding Front Teeth

If your front teeth stick out over your lower teeth, it’s sometimes called an overjet. This problem often occurs through uneven jaw development, which can be genetic or the result of childhood habits like thumb-sucking.

Not only do protruding teeth affect your confidence, but they are also at a greater risk of fracturing. 

We can use lingual braces behind your teeth to pull them back into position or clear Invisalign aligners over your teeth to gradually straighten them. 


When your mouth is closed, your upper and lower teeth should align with a slight overbite. This means your upper front teeth should slightly overlap the lower set. If your upper teeth overlap too much, your lower teeth may be able to touch the roof of your mouth. This is called an overbite.

Overbites can affect your facial structure and cause several potential complications. You may have bruxism, a condition where you grind or clench your teeth, jaw pain, and headaches. Deep overbites may make your face appear shorter, and your chin may look small. 

As with many malocclusions, genetics is a factor. But there are other possible causes. Habits in your early childhood could have caused your teeth to develop in this way. Tongue sucking or thrusting, sucking dummies later than usual, and biting your nails can all contribute. 

We can use fixed lingual braces hidden behind your teeth to address all cases of overbite, or clear Invisalign aligners for mild to moderate malocclusions. 


An underbite is the opposite of an overbite. Here, the lower teeth protrude over the upper teeth. This can cause your teeth to wear down and lead to pain in your jaw joints. As with overbites, underbites will also affect your appearance. 

In addition to the physical complications and aesthetic problems, underbites can also cause speech problems. 

Underbites are typically genetic and result from having a large lower jaw, a small upper jaw, or both. They may also be caused by sucking dummies and thumbs in childhood. 

Again, we can use comfortable clear Invisalign aligners in mild or moderate cases and Incognito lingual braces in more advanced situations. 


A crossbite is a malocclusion where your lower teeth rest outside your upper arch when closed. As with underbites and overbites, this can cause jaw pain and uneven tooth wear while also affecting the appearance of your smile. 

Crossbites are often inherited, so the chances of developing this malocclusion increase if your parent also has it. 

We use lingual braces fixed to the backs of your teeth to correct all severities of crossbite, however, Invisalign also works in many cases. 

Open Bite

If your upper and lower teeth don’t meet when your mouth is closed, you may have an open bite. This often develops in early childhood and can be corrected naturally as you age, as it is common in children with a mix of primary and permanent teeth. 

But if it doesn’t correct itself, it’s likely that it’s the result of prolonged thumb or dummy-sucking, tongue thrusting, skeletal issues, jaw problems, or genetics. 

Open bites affect the appearance of your smile as they can make it look like your teeth are striking out. This malocclusion also increases the potential for excessive tooth wear, meaning you’re more prone to developing cavities or fractures in your teeth. You may also have issues with your speech or ability to eat, 

In most cases, an open bite is treated using either fixed lingual braces or Invisalign. 

Teeth Straightening in London

At The London Smile Clinic, we provide teeth straightening options suitable for fixing various orthodontic issues. After a full assessment, we can advise you on the best course of action to straighten your smile and improve your oral health.

Contact us today to book your consultation.