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Can you get buck teeth from sucking your thumb?


Can you really get buckteeth from sucking your thumb?

3495 day(s) ago

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cabbagehead
Yes, but this is rarely seen in adults since it only affects teeth in the early stages of development.

When you suck your thumb, you're placing your thumb between the backs of your top teeth and the fronts of your bottom teeth. Over a prolonged period of time, these teeth will move to better accommodate the tongue, resulting in buckteeth on the upper jaw and crowded teeth on the lower jaw. Pacifiers will have a similar but less dramatic effect because they aren't as thick as the thumb.

Over 80% of children suck their thumb, and this will cause them to have buck teeth as long as their baby teeth are in. When the adult teeth first break through the gums, they're connected to the alveolar bone through thick periodontal ligaments, which gives the tooth some play while moving into position. When they first come in, they will be in the same places as the baby teeth, but as long as the child has quit sucking their thumb, pressure from the tongue and cheeks will move them back into their proper position.

9% of thumb suckers continue the practice past age 6, when the front adult teeth start appearing. This is when it becomes a problem. The pressure will keep their adult front teeth in a shape that accommodates the thumb. Over time, the ligaments become thinner, cementing the tooth into place. Once set, it will take two or three years of wearing braces to move the teeth back to a normal position.

If you suck your thumb as an adult, it won't have much affect on your teeth, but it may be a sign you have ?stereotypic movement disorder or Tourette's syndrome.


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