Fingernail biting is a common behavior that may occur due to stress or childhood habits. Though you might know it is considered a bad habit, you may not realize that it could be majorly harming your smile. You could suffer severe dental damage that will negatively impact the look and feel of your smile if you do not stop this behavior.
Breaking a habit can be easier when you know the details of why you should not ignore it. Read on to find three dental problems that could arise if you continue to bite your nails.
Oral Health Risks from Nail Biting
Your teeth can endure wear and tear when chewing regularly and without issue. But when you bite down on hard items like fingernails, you expose your teeth to abnormally high levels of pressure. Under this stress, your teeth might crack, chip, or fracture.
If this occurs, your teeth become vulnerable to dental dangers like plaque. You will need to call your dentist right away if you suffer this dental injury. They can offer restorative dental solutions like crowns to repair tooth breakage and keep your smile safe from further harm.
While dental fixtures can reshape and preserve your smile after tooth breakage, ideally, you should protect your natural dental structure. Avoid habits like nail biting that could threaten your dental health in this way.
Teeth can grow crooked, overlapped, or gapped for many reasons, including genetics and other factors outside of your control. But pressure from chronic behaviors like nail biting can also make your smile misaligned.
Frequently biting on hard items like fingernails can pull the front teeth forward to form an overbite. It may also cause your teeth to shift under this pressure to become crooked.
Not only will this disrupt the appearance of your smile, but it could put your oral health in danger. Crooked teeth are harder to clean during your typical oral hygiene routine. If plaque remains on your smile, you could have a higher risk of cavities and other dental issues.
Your dentist can use Invisalign or suggest orthodontic solutions to straighten your smile. But you should preserve the position of your teeth wherever possible to avoid lengthy teeth straightening treatments. This means stopping habits like nail biting that could create bite problems.
Your hands interact with the world through touch, and this means your hands will garner germs and toxins throughout the day. Though you may wash them frequently, germs may still linger under your nails. When you bite your nails, you introduce these toxins into your mouth.
This could make you sick and also lead to oral health problems. Bringing bacteria into your mouth may heighten your risk for oral infections like gum disease. If gum disease progresses, you could lose teeth and suffer severe and irreversible dental damage.
Your dentist can treat this infection with periodontal therapy, but you can avoid this hassle by lowering your risk for this issue. Stop biting your nails to protect your periodontal health.