How Do You Fix Short Teeth?


Patients who have short, small teeth often find that the size of their teeth negatively affects their bite and how their teeth fit together. In some cases, this can result in challenges with eating or other issues which can include jaw problems and grinding. Small teeth do not always result in physical issues. They may not even require treatment. However, small teeth can impact a patient’s smile and make them self-conscious with their appearance.

Patients who have small teeth should follow up with their dentist to discuss their treatments options. The dentist may need to treat an underlying issue before treating the aesthetics of the patient’s small teeth.


Patients with small or short teeth may have a condition call microdontia. In some cases, the patients naturally has one or two teeth which are smaller than the others. In more severe cases, this issue can affect the size and appearance of all the teeth.

Below are the three types of microdontia:

  1. True generalized: all of the teeth are small. This category of microdontia is typically caused by conditions like pituitary dwarfism.
  2. Relative generalized: the teeth are actually normal in size, but they appear small because the patient has a large jaw or gums which extend over the teeth.
  3. Localized: this type of microdontia affects one or a few teeth. It is possible that just the tooth’s crown or root is affected. This type of microdontia is the most common and in most cases affects teeth in the upper jaw.


Microdontia is a hereditary condition, meaning you or your children are at an increased risk for having short teeth if other family members have microdontia. In some cases, the condition is a symptom of a genetic disorder or a development issue. Small teeth can also be a side-effect of exposure to radiation during the tooth’s development. In this case, patient often also have hypodontia or fewer than normal teeth.

Another cause of short teeth is due to wear and tear of the teeth. This often occurs as the result of damage or grinding of the teeth. Microdontia can become more prevalent as a patient ages. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaw often benefit from the use of a night guard to help protect the teeth from damage.


Patients with small teeth have options for treatment. Patients may want to treat small teeth because they are causing issues or additional wear on the other teeth. In other cases, the patient may want to correct the issue for cosmetic reasons.


While short teeth often cause concerns with the appearance of the teeth, they can also increase a patient’s risk for oral health issues and orthodontic problems. Small teeth can prevent the teeth from fitting together properly and cause wide gaps in the teeth. Patients with small teeth often accelerate the rate of wear and tear. In addition, it is easier for food and bacteria to accumulate which can result in tooth decay.


Various types of treatments can be used to increase the size of teeth. Treatments which are commonly used to adjust the size or shape of the teeth include dental bonding, crowns, veneers, and gum reshaping. Work with your dentist to determine the best treatment method. The best treatment will vary based on factors such as the patient’s budget, the number of teeth affected, and the location of the teeth.

Microdontia can be a symptom of another underlying health issue. Prior to considering cosmetic treatment for small teeth, the dentist will want to ensure any underlying health issue is first resolved. Patients may need to be referred to a general practitioner or other healthcare professional.


Are Short Teeth Common