Peg Teeth: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

by | Apr 13, 2023 | Oral Health | 0 comments

4 min reading time

Whether they’re called “small teeth,” “pointy teeth,” “microdontia,” or even “Dracula teeth,” peg teeth refer to a dental condition in which one or more teeth are abnormally small compared to their normal size. Peg teeth are a relatively rare condition, but they can affect any patient, regardless of age and gender, but children and teenagers are more likely to develop them.

Peg teeth are not only an aesthetic detraction — not everyone wants a vampire smile! — they can also adversely affect your dental health over time. Today’s article aims to examine the causes and treatment options of peg teeth so you can achieve the smile of your dreams!


What Exactly are Pegged Teeth?

Typically, peg teeth are small, conical-shaped teeth caused by dental disorders like microdontia or tooth agenesis (meaning the roots of the teeth are shorter than normal). The lateral incisors (the teeth next to the front teeth) are most commonly affected by them, but they can occur in any part of the mouth. Primary and permanent teeth can suffer from peg teeth, sometimes affecting multiple teeth simultaneously.

Often, patients seek solutions for their unattractive smiles because of aesthetics. However, that doesn’t mean a pegged tooth won’t adversely affect your dental health over time. There is a greater risk of periodontal disease, gum recession, and eventual tooth loss among patients with peg teeth, so it’s best to consult an orthodontist about treatment options for pegged teeth.

The causes of peg-shaped teeth

How Common are Peg Lateral Incisors?

Most of our patients do not have to worry about peg teeth because this rare condition typically affects children and teenagers. It has been found that less than 2% of the population experiences peg-shaped teeth, with women 1.35 times more likely to develop pegged upper lateral incisors than men.


What Is the Underlying Cause of Pegged Teeth?

Different factors, such as genetics, environment, and development, can affect the likelihood of ever having peg teeth:

  1. The most common cause of pegged teeth is genetics. When a parent has pegged teeth, their children are more likely to develop them, too. Pegged teeth are also associated with other genetic conditions, including cleidocranial dysostosis and ectodermal dysplasia.
  2. It is also possible that environmental factors contribute to pegged teeth. For instance, if a mother contracts a viral infection or has a high fever during pregnancy, the teeth of her baby may be affected.
  3. The chances of pegged teeth increase if a baby’s teeth don’t develop properly in the womb. Trauma to the mouth can also cause them.

What are My Treatment Options for Pegged Teeth?

Getting rid of peg teeth today and achieving your dream smile has never been easier! There are a variety of treatment options available to dentists and orthodontists. You will no longer have peg teeth with either one of these treatments or a combination of them!

  1. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the affected teeth. Different materials are used, including metal, porcelain, and resin.
  2. In dental bonding, a tooth-colored resin is applied to the affected teeth, which is then shaped and polished to match nearby teeth.
  3. Pegged teeth can be improved with porcelain veneers, thin porcelain shells placed over the front of the teeth.
  4. If the affected tooth is causing pain or discomfort, tooth extraction may be necessary to treat pegged teeth, although only in rare cases.
  5. Pegged teeth may require orthodontic treatment in some patients.

Start Your Orthodontic Journey at Loudoun Orthodontics!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think orthodontic treatment is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of our orthodontic services or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!



  1. Alkhatib, Rami, et al. “Family and Case–Control Genetic Study of MSX1 Polymorphisms in Peg-Shaped Teeth Jordanian Population – BMC Oral Health.” BioMed Central, BioMed Central, 22 Jan. 2022, bmcoralhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12903-022-02051-2. Accessed 13 Apr. 2023.
  2. “Understanding Pegged Teeth.” Colgate®, www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/kids-oral-care/understanding-pegged-teeth. Accessed 13 Apr. 2023.
  3. “Peg Lateral Incisors: American College of Prosthodontists.” GoToAPro, www.gotoapro.org/symptoms/peg-lateral-incisors/. Accessed 13 Apr. 2023.