Microdontia refers to the occurrence of small sized teeth in the jaw.
It is a developmental defect of the teeth in which the size of the tooth is considerably smaller than a normal tooth.
Sometimes it appears as if the tooth is small and sometimes the Jaw appears to be small depending upon the origin of the size and structure of the tooth.
There are two types of microdontia that have been defined in dental books. They are:
True microdontia: When a tooth is smaller in size in real sense that is, each tooth can easily be identified as smaller than an average tooth.
Relative microdontia: A normal sized tooth may apparently look smaller when it is compared to an unusually large tooth.
Here there could be confusion with regular set of teeth which even a normal person might have, that is, a tooth that is too big while another tooth that is very small.
The similar thing may happen when the normal sized teeth are accommodated in a larger jaw.
In case of pituitary dwarfism and ectodermal dysplasia the teeth are usually smaller in size.
The supernumerary teeth are also smaller in size in comparison to the normal teeth.
Individual tooth microdontia is commonly seen in upper lateral incisors and third molars.