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Why Is My Teeth So Small
A captivating, beautiful smile is something everyone dreams of, and such a smile usually involves big shiny white teeth. So, teeth too small can often present an aesthetic issue for many. However, aesthetic issues aren’t the only concern when it comes to small teeth. This condition, also known as Microdontia, can cause other problems and risks.
Luckily, teeth too small are no problem at all, since there are ways to fix them, which we will discuss in the second part of this article. And, if you are facing aesthetic issues of your own, Chicago Dental Boutique has got you, and your teeth covered!
What Is Microdontia?
So, what is this condition exactly? Well, microdontia is simply the medical term for too small teeth, which are also known as short teeth. And, while microdontia often affects one or two teeth, microdontia affecting all of your teeth is quite rare. While this condition can occur on its own, and without other symptoms, it is oftentimes linked to certain genetic conditions.
Types of Microdontia
When it comes to microdontia, it’s important to know that there are several types of it, so let’s briefly go over each.
True Generalized Microdontia
This type is the rarest one, and it usually affects people as an additional symptom of other conditions, such as pituitary dwarfism.
Relative Generalized Microdontia
Relative generalized microdontia is somewhat puzzling. It’s something that affects people who have relatively large jaws or jaws that protrude. So, the teeth will appear smaller, hence the ‘relative’ aspect.
Localized (Focal) Microdontia
Localized microdontia involves a singular tooth that happens to be smaller than the surrounding teeth, and it is the most common type of microdontia. Additionally, there are several types of localized microdontia:
- Microdontia of the root
- Microdontia of the crown
- Microdontia of the entire tooth
Localized microdontia typically affects the teeth of the upper jaw, and the maxillary lateral incisor is the most commonly affected tooth. The third molar is also affected sometimes, but less commonly.
Small Teeth Causes
While most cases of microdontia are isolated and have no connections to other conditions, that isn’t always the case. In certain cases, a genetic syndrome tends to cause the condition. And sometimes, genetic and environmental factors play a part in the condition. Some of the causes of microdontia include the following.
- Pituitary dwarfism – Pituitary dwarfism is one of the various forms of dwarfism, and, as we briefly mentioned earlier, it can cause truly generalized microdontia.
- Radiation or chemotherapy – Radiation and chemotherapy during early childhood, particularly before the age of 6, can affect teeth development and cause microdontia.
- Cleft lip and cleft palate – A cleft lip or a cleft palate, or perhaps both, can cause dental abnormalities to appear, particularly in the cleft area. And microdontia is one of those abnormalities, as it can be seen on the side of the cleft.
- LAMM syndrome congenital deafness – Congenital deafness with LAMM syndrome can affect dental development, as well as hearing. People affected by this condition will have underdeveloped ear structures, as well as teeth that are very small and widely spaced.
- Down syndrome – Dental abnormalities, such as microdontia, are common in individuals with Down syndrome.
- Ectodermal dysplasias – These conditions affect skin, nail, and hair formation and can also cause microdontia too, among other things.
- Fanconi anemia – Individuals who have Fanconi anemia have bone marrow that doesn’t produce blood cells in a normal amount, which results in fatigue. Along with fatigue, they may have a plethora of physical abnormalities, such as microdontia.
- Williams syndrome – This syndrome is a rare genetic condition that tends to affect facial development. And it can cause a wide mouth or widely spaced-out teeth, along with microdontia.
- Gorlin-Chaudhry-Moss syndrome – This rare condition is characterized by premature closing of the bones in the skull. This can cause facial abnormalities, including tooth problems.
- Turner syndrome – This condition affects only women, it’s a chromosomal disorder, and it can, among other things, cause shorter teeth.
- Rieger syndrome – Rieger syndrome is known to cause different facial abnormalities, including missing or underdeveloped teeth.
- Hallermann-Streiff syndrome – Hallermann-Streiff syndrome can also cause various facial abnormalities, leading to an underdeveloped lower jaw and cause teeth problems.
- Rothmund-Thomson syndrome – While Rothmund-Thomson syndrome usually affects growth, skin, and hair, it can also affect teeth and nails, causing abnormalities.
- Oral-Facial-Digital syndrome – This genetic disorder can cause mouth malformations and can affect tooth development.
Small Teeth Treatment Methods
Aesthetic concerns are completely valid, and with that in mind, there are a few different treatment methods for small teeth. So, let’s go over them.
Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular treatments cosmetic dentistry offers. They are thin coverings, usually made out of resin-composite material or, understandably, porcelain. These veneers are cemented onto the front of the tooth to give it the perfect appearance.
A step beyond dental veneers, dental crowns are a cap that covers your entire tooth, not just the front of it. Oftentimes, a tooth will need to be shaved to make space for the cap; however, if you have microdontia, that might not be necessary.
Dental bonding, also known as composite bonding, is a process where the surface of the affected tooth is roughened, and then a composite resin material is applied to it. This material hardens with light, and once it’s hardened, the tooth in question will look just like any other tooth in your mouth. And dental bonding is particularly beneficial since it can protect your tooth from wear and tear that misaligned or misfitting teeth can oftentimes cause.