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Dental Dangers from Biting Nails

Fingernail biting is a common habit that many people try to stop because it leaves their nails looking ragged and transfers oral bacteria to the fingers where germs can then easily spread. But this behavior can also put your oral health in danger if you do not cease it.

Even if you do not notice that you bite your nails, you could still hurt your teeth and gums. If you need help fighting this behavior, you should call your dentist for assistance.

Understanding the ways that nail biting can harm your smile can encourage you to kick this habit. Read on to discover three oral health risks that you could experience if you continue to bite your nails regularly.

Dental Dangers from Biting Nails

Tooth Breakage

Your teeth are specially designed to bite, tear, and grind throughout the day without issue. But if you bite down on abnormally hard items, like fingernails, you could exert high levels of pressure on your teeth. This could result in tooth breakage.

Smaller chips and cracks will disrupt the look of your smile as well as create spots of the tooth susceptible to further damage. A dentist might use cosmetic dental solutions like bonding or porcelain veneers to cover the breakage.

More severe dental injuries will require restorative dentistry, like a dental crown, to fix. A dentist can rebuild the dental structure this way while also shielding the tooth from further harm.

Do not delay treatment for tooth breakage since the injury could worsen quickly without intervention from a dentist. But ideally, you can avoid this dental damage and preserve your natural dental structure by stopping dangerous behaviors like nail biting.

Dental Misalignment

The pressure from biting hard fingernails can hurt the position of your teeth in the mouth as well as your dental structure. Constant biting on these items could push the teeth forward, leaving you with an overbite, or it could make the teeth grow crooked.

You might feel self-conscious about these alignment issues in your smile. But crooked teeth will also put you at a greater risk of forming other dental issues like tooth decay.

A dentist can straighten your smile with Invisalign treatment in some cases. But you can prevent malocclusions and aesthetic dental concerns by ceasing a nail-biting habit.

Oral Infections

Our hands can collect germs throughout the day, especially underneath our fingernails. When you bite your nails, you introduce these germs to your mouth. Excess bacteria can put you at a higher risk of contracting an oral infection.

You also might accidentally cut the soft tissue of your gums with sharp nails, making it even more likely that bacteria could infect your mouth. You could contract gum disease, which will require periodontal therapy from your dentist to eradicate. Without prompt treatment, gum disease might cause irreversible damage to your teeth, jaw, and gums, including tooth loss.

Treating gum disease can be tricky, so reduce your risk of contracting it in the first place with preventative care. This includes stopping harmful behaviors like biting your nails.