Nail biting is a bad habit for you and most of all, your teeth

Often seen as a childhood phase or simply something people do when they’re bored, for the dentist, and indeed our patients, nail biting is a big problem. Long term effects include wearing down enamel and even cracking or chipping your teeth. In severe cases, nail biting can have serious effects on your overall dental health. From nervous sporting moments to dramatic movies and social nerves, we understand this is a real issue affecting people in many situations. In today’s’ blog, we’re going to look at this regular issue and talk about the damage that this ‘harmless’ habit can do….

  • The gums are the foundation for your teeth and for nail biters, they can also be subject to damage. What can happen is that tiny pieces of nail might possibly fall off and lodge between your teeth. At that stage, you’re on your way to gum disease and this is something you want to avoid at all costs as it can mean losing your teeth.
  • Your jaw bone is like any other joint in the body. Overuse and unnecessary wear and tear can lead to pain when chewing or in extreme cases, popping of the jaw or even lockjaw. So the message on this point is clear. If you’re a nail biter, you’re asking your jawbone to do so much extra work. Save your jawbone for what was intended and knock nail biting in the head!
  • Impact on your teeth. From wearing down the enamel on your teeth to discoloration and leaving your teeth a little uneven, nail biting does real practical damage. Not to mention the potential for misalignment. And it’s true that over time, you probably don’t even realise it but we have seen cases where patients’ front teeth clearly show all the signs of nail biting. It’s never too late to stop!
  • As strange as it sounds, your front teeth are delicately designed and are not as robust as your back teeth. What that means for the nail biter is that consistent abuse in the form of nail biting will result in cracks and splinters. The result? …a sensitive tooth is rife for disease, infection and worst of all…real pain.

How to stop nail biting? A combination of will-power and commonsense will get you most of the way and when you’re sitting down watching that crucial sporting moment or scary movie, tooth decay and dental pain will be far from your mind! But try and keep your nails short with a scissors or file. At Walkinstown Dental Surgery, we see the bigger picture of your overall dental health and believe good dental practical care is your best option every time.

If you think nail biting has an impact on your teeth, why not make an appointment and we’ll see if it has an impact on you? Call us today…


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