Bite Your Nails? Know How It Can Impact Your Teeth

One habit that's difficult to break is nail biting. No only does it cause your nails to look horrible, but it can have an impact on your oral health. Here is some information that every nail biter should know:

The Impact of Nail Biting on Oral Health

A common misconception about nail biting is that it does not harm the teeth, especially since nails can be so soft in comparison to hard teeth. However, the impact that nail biting has on your teeth is something that builds up over time. The stress of putting pressure on your nails to bite through them can cause teeth to wear down or crack. You'll eventually have issues where the enamel on your teeth become thin, which can make them more likely to have a cavity.

Nail biters also have a higher chance of developing bruxism, which is when you clench or grind your teeth together out of habit. It will lead to experiencing headaches, having more sensitive teeth, and even tooth loss. If you do not develop this habit during the day, you may do it without knowing while you sleep.

Your nails can also have bacteria trapped underneath them that you don't see. When biting your nails, you are essentially transferring the bacteria into your mouth. It can then get into the gums, cause a gum infection, and lead to other health problems.

The Solution To Nail Biting

You need to take measures to stop the habit of nail biting. Some people do this by using a custom mouth guard that does not allow them to bite their nails out of habit. Having a mouth guard custom made will make it more comfortable than the kind you get at a local store. Mouth guards can also be used to prevent clenching throughout the night as a result of bruxism.

Try chewing on gum throughout the day, which will occupy your mouth with something other than nail biting. Be sure to use gum that's sugar-free to prevent causing damage to your teeth.

Another option is to cover your nails with a nail polish that will make them taste horrible when you put them in your mouth. This can help break the habit during the day when you're at work or driving in your car.

If you bite your nails, call the dental office and schedule an appointment with your dentist. They can let you know about the long-term damage you're doing to your teeth and help motivate you to break that habit.