8 Major Risks of Prolonged Thumb Sucking in Children in India


Thumb sucking is an extremely common occurrence among children which starts right when they are in the womb. It is usually harmless right at the beginning but might lead to certain dental troubles if the habit persists.

Oral health issues become commonplace at this point. Here’s a short article from Alux Dental regarding the problems caused by thumb sucking.

  • As stated by the British Orthodontic Society, if thumb sucking stops before the age of seven, teeth may frequently correct themselves via natural development. 
  • Yet, there is evidence that suggests that one in every eight children are prone to consistent thumb-sucking habit within the age group 7-11, the formative years of a child.

As expressed above, if the habit persists beyond the age of seven, then there is little scope for self-correction. This might lead to troubles with adult teeth as they burst through. This emphasizes the need of putting a halt to thumb-sucking at a young age. Here are the 8 major risks of prolonged thumb sucking in Children:

Overbite or Buck Teeth

A dental issue or malocclusion in which the top teeth protrude roughly 2mm due to jaw misalignment. This is the effect of a child sucking his or her thumb continuously until the age of two. Some toddlers have this practice even when they are 5 years old or older, which causes complications when their permanent teeth develop.

Speech Disorder

When a child sucks his or her thumb, the tongue travels forward and backward. Sucking the thumb repeatedly may lead your child to acquire lisps, which can create challenges while speaking as well as swallowing.

An open bite

It occurs when the teeth are not correctly aligned when the mouth closes. The repetitive motion of inserting the thumb in between the teeth causes tooth misalignment.

Hypersensitivity of the roof of the mouth

Because the thumb often contacts the roof of the mouth, thumb sucking might cause the palate to become somewhat more sensitive.

Breathing issues

Although they may be subtle, changes in your child’s breathing habits are likely caused to jaw misalignment. Because the sinus passageways and nasal anatomy are impacted when the roof of the mouth is higher and narrower, breathing becomes more difficult.

Changed jaw shape

When children suck their thumbs, the position of the tongue is depressed, putting additional strain on the jaw. Significant changes are prone to happen due to this exceptional pressure on the jaw.

When high pressure is applied to the jaw regularly, the form of the jaw is more prone to shift and become underdeveloped.

Variations in the Child’s Jaw

Because thumb sucking alterations the shape and alignment of a child’s jaw, it may also create certain aberrant changes in the child’s facial structure.

Bacterial Infection

Sucking the thumb (whether clean or dirty) increases the likelihood of germs or pathogens entering your child’s body and causing infection.

Albeit a very common habit that is visible among children not just in India but across the globe, this specific practice must be controlled by parents by visiting the dentist. Alux Dental strives to provide the finest dental care for you and your child for a happy and fulfilling life. 

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