Nail biting can be a hard habit to break — but if you don’t, your dental health might suffer much more than your manicure.
1. Worn teeth
Nail Biting creates continuous stress on our teeth. This can cause the enamel to breakdown, which is a protective outer layer of the teeth themselves. It’s also the hardest tissue in your body and is designed to help protect your teeth. Even though it is so robust, it will not grow back – not having enough enamel can cause tooth erosion. Continuous wear on your teeth can also cause them to come out of alignment. Your teeth are not permanent structures, such as other bones in your body such as your femur. They can move over time, especially with corrective forces such as braces or negative forces such as nail biting.
2. Chipped teeth
Your fingernails are hard substances. Biting through a fingernail can cause you to smack your upper teeth into your lower with a high impact. This resulting force can cause your teeth to not only chip off the enamel but also the tooth structure itself requiring extensive dental work. You definitely don’t want a chipped tooth.
3. Jaw problems
Excessive use of your teeth in nail biting can cause undue stress on your jaw. Your jaw is just like any other joint in the body and putting excessive strain on it day in and day out can cause issues such as temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. This can not only cause pain in your jaw, but also headaches, muscle pain around the jaw and even into the neck, joint sounds, and locking of the jaw; none of which you want to experience.
4. Damage to those with braces
Braces cost a lot of money and you or your child would never want to do anything to potentially negate all that time and money invested. Biting of the nails can cause the teeth to come misaligned by putting opposing stress on the teeth from the direction the braces are trying to bring them. This can lead to the braces needing to be left on for a longer period of time. Also, a potentially larger issue is that biting nails with braces can cause root resorption. This is where the bone around the roots starts to dissolve the root itself, resulting in the tooth becoming weaker; something you don’t want to have in the short or long term.
If you are, or have been, a chronic nail biter, please contact us today to prevent any future problems. Also, if you have any good tips for stopping nail biting, let us know and we can share them with those who are suffering.