Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

Types of Crooked Teeth
Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

We all strive for a perfect, healthy smile, but sometimes life has other plans. Crooked teeth are a common dental issue, and they occur for various reasons.

This comprehensive guide will explain the different types of misalignments, their causes, and treatment options.

The Root of the Problem: Causes of Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth can result from various factors, including:

  • Genetic factors: Your genetics significantly affect dental health and make some susceptible to crooked teeth. Our genetics determine the size and shape of our jaw and how they develop.
  • Mouth and jaw size: A smaller jaw or lack of space in the mouth can lead to crowding and teeth misalignment.
  • Loss of baby teeth: If primary teeth fall out prematurely, the remaining teeth may shift and cause misalignments.
  • Childhood habits: Thumb sucking, extended use of pacifiers, and tongue thrusting can all cause the front teeth to push inwards or outwards. These habits may cause the teeth to move out of their correct positions, resulting in misalignments.
  • Teeth grinding:  The habit of grinding or clenching your teeth can contribute to crooked teeth by putting pressure on them and causing them to shift.
  • Wisdom teeth: Erupting wisdom teeth can push other teeth out of alignment.
  • External forces: Facial injuries may result in teeth shifting and jaw misalignment.

Additional Resources

We’ve put together a few resources to help you better understand some of the causes of crooked teeth, and how they can be prevented or addressed. Check out these pages from our blog: 

Key Takeaway

Crooked teeth can be caused by genetics or habits and can result in overbites, underbites, or overcrowding. Beyond cosmetic concerns, misaligned teeth can impact oral health and affect chewing, speech, and hygiene. It is important to address these issues for both aesthetics and overall well-being.

Common Types of Crooked Teeth and Treatment Options

Now that we’ve covered the causes, let’s explore the various crooked teeth types and their treatment options:

Open Bite Malocclusion

An open bite occurs when the upper and lower front teeth don’t overlap, leaving a gap even when the mouth is closed.

This condition can result from tongue thrusting, thumb-sucking, or continuous mouth breathing. Treatment options for an open bite may include orthodontic treatment with braces, clear aligners, or habit-breaking appliances.

End-to-End Bite

An end-to-end bite occurs when the upper and lower teeth meet directly edge-to-edge without any overlap. This bite can lead to excessive tooth wear and an increased risk of tooth damage.

End-to-end bites may be caused by genetics, uneven jaw growth, or tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, is typically recommended to treat an end-to-end bite.

Uneven Bite

When one side of your teeth is higher than the other, it’s often a sign of an uneven bite, also known as malocclusion.

An uneven bite can result in difficulties with chewing, speech problems, and, in severe cases, may even alter the shape of your face. 

The most common treatment for this condition is orthodontic therapy with braces or clear aligners, gradually aligning the teeth. In severe cases, dental surgery may be necessary to adjust the jaw bone and correct the bite.


An overbite is a malocclusion characterized by a significant overlap of the upper front teeth over the lower front teeth when the mouth is closed. A slight overbite is normal, but an extreme or severe overbite could pose potential dental problems.

A 90-degree overbite, also known as a deep bite, occurs when the upper front teeth are pointing outward, creating a gap between the upper and lower teeth.

Overbites may be due to genetics, jaw size differences, or habits like thumb-sucking. Treatment options may include braces, clear aligners, or dental appliances to reposition the jaw. In severe cases, jaw surgery may be necessary.


An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, where the lower front teeth overlap or are in front of the upper front teeth. This type of bite may result from genetics, missing upper teeth, or an overgrowth of the lower jaw.

Underbites treatment options include braces, clear aligners, and sometimes jaw surgery to correct the jaw position.


A crossbite is when one or more upper teeth are positioned inside the lower teeth. In this situation, the upper molars may sit on the inside of the lower molars, causing improper tooth alignment and potential jaw problems.

Crossbites can lead to uneven wear on teeth and even TMJ disorders if left untreated. Treatment options include orthodontic treatment to correct teeth alignment and potentially expand the upper jaw.

Gap Teeth

Gap teeth, also known as diastema, occur when there is extra space between two or more teeth in the mouth. This condition can be caused by missing teeth, genetics, or an oversized labial frenum (the tissue connecting the lip to the gums).

Treatment options for gap teeth include braces or clear aligners to close the gaps, dental bonding, or veneers to cover the spaces.

Retroclined Teeth

Inward slanting teeth, also known as retroclined teeth, are teeth angled inward toward the tongue rather than in their natural outward direction. These types of misalignments can result from genetics or habits like thumb-sucking.

Treatment options for retroclined teeth include orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners to correct the positioning of the teeth.


Crowding happens when there is not enough space in the mouth for all the teeth to fit comfortably, leading to overlapping or twisted teeth. This condition can be caused by genetics, missing teeth, or small jaw size.

Treatment options for crowded teeth may include orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners, tooth extraction to create more space, or jaw expansion procedures.

Why It’s Important To Fix Crooked Teeth

Fixing crooked teeth is more than aesthetics—it’s crucial for oral health.

Misaligned teeth can lead to excessive wear and tear, increasing the risk of chipping or cracking. Crooked teeth can make oral hygiene more challenging, promoting plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Crooked teeth can affect your bite, causing problems with chewing and potentially leading to digestive issues. Additionally, they can contribute to speech difficulties, such as lisps or other speech impediments.

Untreated malocclusions can lead to headaches, earaches, and TMJ disorders.

Improve Your Smile: A Journey Worth Taking

As a parent, you strive to provide the best for your child, and their dental health is no exception. However, finding a trustworthy and dependable dentist can take time and effort.

That’s where Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry comes in. With our expertise and gentle approach, we’ll help give your child the smile they deserve.

Our experienced pediatric dentist, Dr. Martinez can recommend the appropriate treatment plan for your child’s crooked teeth.

If you are searching for a ‘kids dentist in Phoenix,’ don’t hesitate to call Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry.

Call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form to schedule an appointment today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do My Teeth Slant Inwards?

Teeth that are angled inward can result from genetics, habits like thumb-sucking, or an incorrect tongue posture. It’s essential to address this issue as it may cause problems with chewing and speaking.

How Can I Fix My Bite Issues?

Orthodontic treatment is the most common way to fix bite issues through braces or clear aligners. In severe cases, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct the position of the jaw bones.

Can I Straighten My Teeth Without Braces?

Yes, clear aligners are an alternative option for straightening teeth. However, they may not be suitable for more severe or complex cases and should be discussed with your dentist.

If you are searching for a ‘kids dentist near me,’ contact Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry.