It turns out that thumb sucking can have more of an impact on your oral health than you think. Research studies show that thumb sucking affects up to 30% of children. This habit seems to fade once individuals get into adulthood, affecting up to 5% of grown adults. Therefore, thumb sucking is a coping mechanism or a self-soothing technique for those who may be suffering from psychological issues.

Regular thumb sucking can lead to continuous stress on your teeth causing breaking down of the enamel. While the tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your body, it does not grow back once it is gone and loss of enamel can eventually lead to tooth erosion. Nowadays various devices are available in the market for thumb sucking prevention.

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Fingernails are an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive this includes allergens and potentially infectious organisms. Once the bacteria get into your body through the mouth, it can be the beginning of an infection, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Some children can also develop Staphylococcus aureus around their faces because of frequent finger sucking.

Research studies have shown that individuals that bite their nails are at a higher risk of developing severe teeth grinding. Bruxism which is also known as teeth grinding is the unintentional grinding of teeth and it can also cause gum recession as well as the loss of tooth in extreme cases. Teeth grinding can also lead to discomfort and damage to your jaw bone.

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