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How Does Nail Biting Affect Your Teeth?

Posted on 7/15/2016 by Heather Erickson
A woman biting her nails, because she's stressed.Nail biting is a bad nervous habit and it is one that is hard to break. If you don't though, your teeth are liable to suffer much more damage than that fresh manicure! Nail biting can affect your teeth in many ways. From increasing the risk of a crack to promoting tooth loss, nail biting does nothing good for your teeth.

Effects of Nail Biting on Your Teeth

The Academy of General Dentistry says that those children or adults who bite their nails are at an increased risk for wearing down or fracturing their teeth. The added pressure from biting can also lead to premature tooth loss, especially in those patients who wear braces because braces already put additional pressure on the teeth.

The Academy of General Dentistry also says that those patients who have a habit of biting their nails are at an increased risk for developing bruxism. Bruxism is a condition where the individual unintentionally grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw. This condition can cause chronic headaches, orofacial pain, recessed gums, tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss.

In addition, other effects of nail biting to one's oral health include damage to the soft tissue of the gums by sharp or jagged fingernails. Not only that, but germs that lived under the fingernails or on unclean hands can lead to infection and even disease in some cases.

What Can You Do to Prevent Damage to Your Teeth from Nail Biting

If you are a nail biter and have had struggles relieving yourself of the habit, you still have options. Contact our office about getting a mouth guard to protect your teeth from damage that might be caused by subsequent bruxism.

You can also talk with your dentist about discussing therapy techniques that might help you to shake your nail biting habit.

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