Biting your nails is considered a bad habit. It usually develops because of prolonged stress and anxiety, boredom, or because of fears relating to nail hygiene products. Whatever the reason, nail biting is actually worse for teeth than it is for nails. It results in a variety of related health issues, including those that may lead to tooth replacement.
The talented staff at Hudson Valley Dental Care: Lawrence Gilbert, DDS emphasizes the importance of stopping this habit to ensure the longevity of teeth. Let’s take a look at what the dentistry staff wants you to know about nail biting and oral health:
- Wearing Down: Biting your nails keeps teeth in motion, which means they’ll wear down faster.
- Front Teeth Stress: The action puts extra stress on front teeth. This weakens teeth and leaves them susceptible to misalignment and similar problems. It can also create a gap.
- Bacteria Exposure: Fingernails are twice as germy as hands. Nail biting, therefore, increases the risk of transferring bacteria, germs, and viruses to the body.
- Weakened Roots: Biting the nails weakens tooth roots. This is especially problematic if you wear braces, as braces put pressure on teeth.
- Jaw Pain: Nail biting stresses the jaw, since it frequently requires jaw adjustment to get the right biting “angle.” This can lead to TMJ Disorder, which causes jaw pain, locking and popping, and headaches.
- Chipped and Cracked Teeth: Fingernails are tough and often sharp. Constant nail biting increases the chances of chipped and cracked teeth.
These and other oral health issues make getting a hold of this bad habit imperative. Wearing nail polish, using over-the-counter-solutions that make nails taste bad, and becoming more aware of the habit are all very helpful in stopping for good.
If nail biting as left you with oral health problems, visit Hudson Valley Dental Care: Lawrence Gilbert, DDS, a Monroe-based dental practice providing services such as veneers, dental bonding, and cosmetic procedures. Make an appointment by calling (845) 783-8326 or visiting the website today.