Consequences of Thumbsucking

Consequences of Thumbsucking

Thumbsucking is a normal and soothing act for babies which makes them feel relaxed and comforted. Usually, they stop doing it on their own at around two to four years of age. Before that age, it is a habit that needs to be put off immediately. One of the consequences of thumbsucking is your child being ridiculed by their peers and posing as a social threat to them. Here are the other consequences which pose a major issue.

Jaw Deformities

Post a particular age, the primary teeth in a toddler’s mouth start erupting. Under the age of 8 years, a child’s jaw is at its growing stage and rich in blood supply. This makes their mouth’s structure soft and flexible. If they continue thumbsucking at this stage, there are chances of changes in the growth pattern of the jaw. This benign habit will move the teeth and bones in their mouths. The constant pressure can cause deformities in the jaw.

Open Bite

One of the serious side effects of thumbsucking is the occurrence of open bite. You can see the front teeth jutting out and it is visible when the mouth is closed. This happens because the bottom and top front teeth start directing themselves outwards. You will have to take your child to the dentist for orthodontic corrections at a later stage.


This is similar to the open bite. An overbite is when the upper set of teeth cover the bottom teeth. The teeth appear to be directed outwards. Overbite is confined to the upper teeth. This is also an issue where you would have to take your child to visit the dentist for orthodontic treatment.

Speech Impediment

Thumbsucking can also cause speech impediments in children. The pressure from sucking the thumb constantly affects the development of teeth, jaw, and palate in the mouth. It can cause deformities in the shape of the teeth. Speech impediment can occur in forms of lisping and the inability to pronounce hard consonants like D and T. It is recommended to opt for speech therapy if your child suffers from these.

Sensitivity of the Roof

With thumbsucking, your child could develop sensitivity in the roof of the mouth. The roof can be prone to alteration and scarring because of the constant pressure. You may also notice the roof curving more intensely. Book your appointment at the dentist and get it fixed whenever you notice a change in its structure.

Other Consequences

Constantly sucking on the thumb can expose your child to dirt and germs. It can also create sores, calluses, and infections to develop on the thumb.

Parents should introduce alternatives to thumbsucking to their children. Child dentistry is critical and it is safer to involve a dentist who will provide the best dental care with gentle and considerate work. We understand the importance of your family’s health, and hence, we promote good oral health in our community.

Categories : General Dentistry