How Does Biting Your Nails Affect Your Oral Health?

Close up of a woman biting her fingernails

As a nervous habit, you may not even realize how much you bite your nails. You might also not realize that this habit can impact your oral health. At Willow Smiles Dentistry, we see firsthand what biting your nails can do to your teeth and would like to educate you on reasons why you should break the habit.


Chip or Fracture

You could damage your teeth if you bite your nails. You may develop a fracture or a crack. The fracture or chip may enlarge or more cracks could form in that area. You also risk bacteria entering into the fracture and causing tooth decay.


At Risk for Other Nervous Habits

As your teeth come in contact with your nails continuously, you might have a noticeable amount of enamel erosion on your teeth. When you bite your nails, you’re also more likely to develop other nervous habits, such as bruxism. With this particular condition, you wear down the enamel of your teeth by daytime or nighttime teeth grinding. This habit puts you at an even greater risk for fracturing or cracking a tooth.


Development of a Malocclusion

If you bite your nails, your teeth may move. As your teeth shift, you may develop a malocclusion – when your upper and lower teeth don’t come together normally.


Gum Disease (& Another Nasty Problem)

Both dirt and bacteria end up underneath your nails. When you bite your nails, you’re introducing the dirt and germs into your mouth. Ultimately, this can cause gingivitis that can turn into gum disease. We also hate to mention that there is a chance that a wart from another part of your body can spread to your mouth if you touch it and then bite your nails. You can also develop warts in your mouth if you come in contact with warts from someone else and then bite your nails. Yuck!


Increases Risk of Other Infections

Although this isn’t directly an oral health concern, when you bite your nails, you bring germs into your mouth. This increases your risk of getting a cold, the flu, or another infection. It’s a good idea to should consider the risk nail biting has on your oral health and health in general.


Oral Health Tips from Willow Smiles Dentistry

Kicking the nail biting habit could prevent the need for dental repairs or gum disease treatment in the future. We are here to help you maximize your oral health. Schedule an appointment with Willow Smiles Dentistry, serving Puyallup, WA, and the general vicinity, today.


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