Malocclusions are what most of us call a “poor bite.” Orthodontists in Albuquerque and the surrounding area are accustomed to seeing many variations of malocclusion. Having a poor bite can cause jaw pain or can cause your teeth to wear unevenly. It can also cause your teeth to be in danger of breaking or chipping. Malocclusion can cause TMJ dysfunction. Albuquerque orthodontists can help adjust your bite to eliminate current pain and establish a healthy bite.

“Buck Teeth”

Clinically called an “overjet” or “Upper protrusion,” buck teeth are quite common. One of the most frequent causes of overjet is excessive thumb-sucking or pacifier use. This will push the top teeth forward and elongate the upper palate. Another cause for overjet can be an undersized lower jaw. In either case, it would be a good time to schedule an exam with an orthodontist.


On overbite is often confused with an overjet, but is clinically a different condition. With an overbite, the patient’s top teeth reach too far down the front of the bottom teeth. This condition can be so severe that it causes the bottom teeth to actually cut into the upper gums.


When your lower teeth protrude further than your front teeth, you have an underbite. It’s also called prognathism, and may be either a problem with misalignment of teeth or due to a malformation of the jaw.

Cross Bite

Typically, a normal bite places the lower inside edge of the upper molars to the center of the lower molars. The outside edges of the upper molars are to the outside of the lower ones. If any of the upper teeth fit onto the wrong side of the lower teeth, it is called a crossbite.

Open Bite

With an open bite, the patient has a gap between upper and lower teeth. It can be on either side or, less frequently, in the front. With an open bite, the patient has an opening straight past the teeth into the mouth.

Spacing and Crowding

Problems can occur in the spacing of your teeth if there is either too much space or not enough for your teeth. If there is too much space in your mouth, your teeth may have unsightly gaps between them. If your teeth are too crowded, though, they can become impacted. This will prevent your permanent teeth from erupting normally.


The midline is the center between your front teeth. If it doesn’t match with the center of your lower teeth, it can cause problems with wear on your teeth.


When a tooth is not in its normal position, it is rotated. It may tip over or actually be turned in place.

Jaw Positioning

Your Albuquerque orthodontist will evaluate the positioning of your jaw. The bones of your lower jaw must align properly and be in the right position for your teeth to be aligned. Problems with jaw development can cause many of the malocclusions listed here, and vice-versa.