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How Biting Your Nails Affect Your Dental Health

Posted on 12/15/2023 by Beautiful Smiles Office
Image of a woman smiling and biting her nails, at Beautiful Smiles. Some individuals habitually use their teeth to groom or bite their nails. Sometimes they do this consciously or subconsciously when feeling anxious or stressed. While this habit may seem harmless, it can harm your dental health. Here's how biting your nails affects your dental health:

Teeth Grinding

Biting your nails can increase the risk of teeth grinding. The repetitive motion of biting and grinding can put excessive pressure on your teeth.

This may lead to tooth damage, such as chipping, cracking, or tooth decay. Later, bruxism can cause significant wear and tear on your teeth, compromising their integrity and requiring dental intervention to restore them.

Spread Bacteria

Underneath your nails, bacteria can accumulate, even if you regularly clean your hands. The germs enter your mouth when you bite your nails. This increases the risk of gum disease and oral infections.

Despite maintaining good hand hygiene, biting your nails directs bacteria to your oral cavity. This can cause oral health issues you can prevent by breaking the habit.

Tooth Damage

Many underestimate their teeth' strength and assume they can bite through various objects, including nails. However, your teeth cannot withstand this type of repetitive force.

While nail biting may not immediately cause tooth damage, persistent biting can gradually wear down the enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth. Over time, this can lead to weakened and damaged teeth.

This will later increase the likelihood of tooth sensitivity, cavities, and other dental problems.

You should note that breaking the habit of nail biting can be challenging, particularly for those who do it unconsciously or as a coping mechanism.

There are strategies and techniques available to help you overcome this habit. Call our dentist to ensure you know how nail biting can affect your dental health and how to stop the habit.

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James Yang, DDS

255 W Court St., Suite E Woodland,
CA 95695-2986

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