Why Are My Teeth So Small? 5 Reasons Explained

teeth problems

If you have ever wondered, “Why are my teeth so small?” You are not alone. While the size of our teeth can vary from person to person, several factors contribute to their size and the overall appearance of our smiles.

Read on to understand some causes of smaller teeth and the solutions available to help improve them.


One of the primary factors influencing the size of your teeth is genetics. Just like other physical attributes such as height or eye color, the size and shape of your teeth are largely determined by your genetic makeup.

If your parents or other family members have small or short teeth, there’s a good chance that you may inherit this trait as well. Genetics plays a significant role in shaping all of our dental features, including tooth size.


Malocclusion refers to misalignment or incorrect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed. This condition can sometimes result in teeth appearing smaller or larger than they actually are. For instance, overcrowding of teeth can make them appear smaller due to limited space within the jaw.

Conversely, if there’s excessive spacing between teeth, they may seem larger than average. Consulting with a dentist can help diagnose and address malocclusion issues.

malocclusion infographic

Tooth Erosion and Wear

Over time, teeth can wear down due to various factors such as aging, teeth grinding (bruxism), acidic food and drinks, or poor oral hygiene. As enamel, a protective layer on the tooth surface, wears away, the underlying dentin may become more exposed, making the teeth appear smaller.

Erosion of the tooth structure can lead to changes in tooth shape and size, as well as tooth sensitivity and discomfort. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups can help prevent excessive tooth wear and erosion.

Developmental Conditions

Certain developmental conditions or genetic disorders can affect tooth development and result in smaller-than-average teeth. For example, conditions like hypodontia (missing teeth), microdontia (abnormally small teeth), or ectodermal dysplasia (a genetic disorder affecting the teeth, hair, and nails) can influence the size and shape of teeth.

If you suspect that a developmental condition may be contributing to the size of your teeth, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Excess Gum Tissue

gum tissue issues

In some cases, the appearance of small teeth may be attributed to excessive gum tissue covering the lower and upper teeth, a condition known as gingival hyperplasia or gingival hypertrophy. When there is an overgrowth of gum tissue, it can make the teeth appear smaller than they actually are, creating an uneven or gummy smile.

This condition can be a result of various factors, including genetics, certain medications, or poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, treatments such as gum contouring or gingivectomy are available to reshape the gum line, revealing more of the tooth surface and enhancing the appearance of the smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions

If the appearance of your teeth is affecting your confidence and self-esteem, there are cosmetic dental treatments available. Options such as dental bonding, porcelain veneers placed over your natural tooth, or crowns can help fix small teeth, restoring symmetry and balance to your smile.

A consultation with a cosmetic dentist can help determine the most suitable treatment option based on your individual needs and preferences.

Addressing Small Teeth

The size of your teeth can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, malocclusion, tooth wear, excessive gum tissue, and developmental conditions. While small teeth are a natural variation in the population, they can also be addressed through cosmetic dentistry procedures if desired.

If you are concerned about the size of your teeth or have any other dental-related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly Dr. Dalesandro team. We’re here to help you achieve a healthy, confident smile that you can proudly share with the world.

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

At Dr. Dalesandro & Associates, we prioritize your family’s dental health and happiness, including addressing concerns about small teeth. As specialists in family dentistry, we offer comprehensive services tailored to all ages, ensuring every smile receives personalized care.

Located conveniently in Tucson, Dr. Dalesandro & Associates is committed to the well-being of your entire family, regardless of tooth size.

Begin your family’s journey toward healthier smiles with us by booking an appointment on our website.

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