Sucking-pads and primitive sucking reflex

Abstract. Sucking pads are hyperkeratotic thickenings of the inner aspect of the vermillion border of the lips of neonates. They develop around the 25th week of gestation and are the result of the primitive sucking reflex which is brain-stem mediated. The presence of sucking pads at birth represents an effective sucking reflex and as such it is recommended as a screening tool that indicates an intact motor neuron function in neonates.

*Corresponding Author: 

H.D. Hendrik, Oral Biology, Box D 24, School of Oral Health Sciences, Medunsa Campus, University of Limpopo, 0204 Mankweng-E, South Africa. Tel.: +27 125214882; Cell: +27 0728694045; Fax: +27 125214274; E-mail: