How Biting Your Nails Hurts Teeth

Posted on 05/01/2019
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If you're like many people, too much stress or anxiety is a trigger for you to start chewing on a nail. But this common nervous habit can have a plethora of unintended consequences, and some of those have to do with dental health. As a leading team of dentists serving the Manahawkin, NJ area, our mission at Federici Dental is to help our patients maintain beautiful healthy smiles. So to help you understand why quitting the habit of nail biting is important for your dental health, we'd like to cover a few of the ways that nail biting can damage your teeth.


The Hidden Consequences of Biting Your Nails

A persistent nail-biting habit may make it impossible for you to grow out longer, even nails, but that's far from the only effect. Biting your nails can do damage to your teeth, leading to significant dental health issues over time. Here are just a few of the dental problems that can come from biting your nails:

  • Enamel Wear: The teeth aren't designed to bite anything other than food, and when they're used to bite nails, it can cause wear on the outer layer of enamel. Enamel wear weakens the natural defense system of your teeth, opening them up to more serious issues.
  • Sensitive Teeth: Among the most common problems caused by weakened enamel is tooth sensitivity. If the enamel gets thin enough, your teeth may become extra-sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Cavities: Enamel is what protects your teeth from the bacteria living in your mouth and the acids they produce. But if the enamel wears too thin, it's easier for bacteria to chew through it, forming a cavity that can threaten the integrity of your tooth.
  • Chips, Cracks, & Breaks: Worn-down enamel, combined with consistent chewing on the hard keratin of your nail, can also put your teeth at risk of trauma. Nail biting can cause physical damage to teeth like chipping, cracks, and breakage in the teeth.

Contact Your Manahawkin, NJ Family Dentist

Nail biting is far from a harmless habit, with the potential to cause serious tooth damage that requires extensive dental treatment. That's why we urge you to quit the habit for the sake of your smile - and if you'd like advice on how to do so, feel free to contact us with any questions. We wish you luck in refraining from nail biting and protecting the health of your smile, and we look forward to helping you maintain a gorgeous smile for a lifetime!