Nail Biting May Lead to Dental Issues

People who bite their nails have a number of compelling reasons to kick that bad habit to the curb. It’s unappealing and unsanitary for starters. Many nail-biters may not realize, however, that they are potentially doing harm to their oral health and requiring an extensive treatment from their dentists.

Although many people outgrow nail-biting as they get older, some adults can’t break the habit. The best dentists inCarrolltonrecommend that you take action to stop biting your nails in order to protect your teeth and gums.

One condition of particular concern to dentists is bruxism, or grinding of the teeth—often while sleeping. This condition has a great deal in common with nail biting, and your bad habit may actually cause you to grind your teeth.

Both bruxism and nail-biting are stress-related and they put unnecessary strain on the teeth. In fact, biting your nails can wear down your enamel just like grinding your teeth will. Nail-biters and bruxism sufferers also both often complain about discomfort or pain in the jaw.

People who have bitten their nails for years may also notice the symptoms of bruxism, like early morning headaches and jaw pain, as they get older.

Other oral health problems can arise from nail biting, too. A sharp nail can cause a cut or opening in the gum tissue, giving harmful bacteria the opportunity to infiltrate the soft tissues of the mouth.

Biting your nails obsessively can also knock your teeth out of alignment, as the nails are not natural objects that the jaw is designed to chew properly. Therefore, the teeth or jaw will need to shift to accommodate those unusual forces.

If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to stop biting your nails, talk to your dentist about interventions that may help you in your efforts. This habit is often a response to stress and anxiety, so seeing a psychotherapist may be beneficial. You may also want to take steps that make the action of nail biting unappealing.

Don’t let nail-biting stand between you and a healthy mouth. Make it a priority to break this bad habit.