Certain changes caused by late growth can occasionally disturb the best of treatment plans. Someone having had a normal growth pattern may not exhibit this normality throughout his/her growth period. If the growth of a jaw becomes disproportionate as compared with that of the opposing jaw, the relationship between the jaws can become unbalanced and the original treatment plan objectives may not be attainable. This may force the orthodontist to modify his treatment plan and propose compromises or treatment alternatives. Excessive residual growth, after completion of treatment, may also affect the stability of the results.

Abnormal growth patterns and oral habits such as chronic digit sucking and excessive tongue pressure applied against the teeth may also make orthodontic corrections more difficult or jeopardize the stability of the results during the retention period.