Nail biting is a fairly common habit that can start at a young age and last throughout adulthood. It can start due to stress or anxiety or even boredom. This habit can also be picked up by observing others. Although we know that nail biting is bad for your fingernails, we don’t really think about how it affects our mouth. If you have a nail biting habit, here are a few reasons why you should try to stop.
- Wear & Tear: The action of biting your nails doesn’t only wear your nails down – it also wears down your teeth. If you are a frequent biter, your mouth and teeth don’t get enough of a break throughout the day and they become overused. Also, the surface of your teeth get uneven making them more prone to chipping or cracking.
- Infection & Disease: Your nails are the most bacteria ridden part of your body. Constantly putting your nails near in your mouth mean you are transferring a lot of that bacteria into your mouth. If you have any sort of open cut or sore, bacteria can easily get in and cause a serious medical problem.
- Misalignment: After a lot of nail biting, your teeth can start to get pushed out of place. Depending on how frequent and how hard you are grinding your teeth down, you can end up with uneven teeth after a while which may need retainers or braces to correct.
- TMJ Issues: Temporomandibular Joint disorders occur when the connecting area between your jaw and your skull is not working correctly. You may have stiffness or pain in the area or an inability to open your mouth properly. Frequent nail biting wears down your joint as well making you more prone to TMJ issues.
- Gum Issues: Your gums are very sensitive even when they are properly being taken care of. Nail biting subjects your gums to your roughly cut fingernails making them prone to getting scratches or soreness.
If you know that your nail biting habit it bad, try using different techniques to change your mind about it (nail polish, aversion therapy, etc.) Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients in the CT and NY areas for over twenty-five years. She can help take care of all of your dental needs including restoration and cosmetic fixes. Call our office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here. We serve the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York.