Dangers of Nail Biting

We all have nervous habits we want to quit, but nail biting is by far one of the worst bad habits for you teeth. Biting your nails not only makes your fingers look bad, but it damages your teeth.

In fact, nail biting wears down your teeth’s enamel and can lead to you chipping or even cracking a tooth. Unfortunately, nail biting is a common issue that normally begins at a young age. According to Humera, studies suggest “60 percent of kids and 45 percent of teenagers bite their nails.” While numbers decrease in adulthood, it can still be an issue for many.

Nail biting simply isn’t good. It can lead to dental procedures that could have been otherwise could have been avoided. Not to mention, nail biting can spread bacteria from other parts of the body to the mouth and or from the mouth to the body and lead to other more serious issues and infections. This bad habit could even potentially lead you to develop TMJ, which involves pain in the muscles, ligaments, and joints needed to chew food and drink water.

According to Colgate, “a study in the journal General Dentistry also reported that patients who bite their fingernails, chew on pencils or clench their teeth might be at a greater risk for bruxism, unintentional grinding or clenching that can cause facial pain, headaches, tooth sensitivity, recessed gums and tooth loss.”

At the end of the day, no matter how you look at it, nail biting is bad for your teeth and has a long list of potential dangers. While it is certainly hard to stop, it is important you do your best for your dental and overall health.

If you are having trouble stopping, try keeping your nails too short to bite or cutting your nails, so they are two short to bite. If this doesn’t work, trying handling the cause of the problem. Do you bite your nails because of stress, anxiety, or nervousness? For example, if it is stress, try taking steps to de-stress each day. It will not only benefit your teeth and your nails, but also your overall well-being.

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