If you bite your nails, you're doing more than just shortening your nails. You're actually damaging your teeth. While it might seem odd that biting your nails would affect your teeth, but it's true. In fact, nail biting can harm your teeth in several ways. Here are just four of the ways that nail biting is harmful for your teeth.
Wears Down the Edges
When you bite your nails, it's like grinding your teeth. Over time, the nail biting can cause the edges of your teeth to wear down. If you've been biting your teeth for a long time, you may notice that the edges of your teeth are smoother than they used to be. In addition to the edges getting smoother, nail biting can also cause the edges to get weaker, which can lead to small cracks and chips.
Can Lead to Infections
When you bite your nails, you're introducing germs and bacteria into your mouth, including germs that can cause E.coli and salmonella. Virtually everything on your hands and under your nails suddenly goes into your mouth. Unfortunately, that can cause serious infections, especially if you have open wounds in your mouth. In addition to infections, nail biting can also cause gum disease, especially if pieces of your nails get inside the gums.
If you have TMJ – temporomandibular jaw disorder – biting your nails could aggravate the disorder. When you bite your nails, the position of your jaw is displaced, meaning it's put into a position that is not comfortable. Over time, biting your nails can lead to jaw pain and can cause your jaw to click and pop when you open your mouth.
Can Loosen Your Teeth
If you wear braces, part of the treatment involves loosening your teeth so that they can be shifted to their proper position. Unfortunately, if you bite your nails while wearing braces, you can cause your teeth to get looser than they should be, which could extend the amount of time you need to for orthodontic treatment. The additional pressure on your teeth during orthodontic treatment can also harm your roots, which can lead to premature tooth loss.
If you bite your nails, you may be harming your teeth. Have your dentist examine your teeth to see if your nail biting is causing harm. In addition, you should also talk to a dentist (such as one from Pike Lake Dental Center) about some methods that can help you break the habit.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.