How Biting Your Nails Can Affect Your Dental Health
When there’s a close ball game or a very suspenseful movie, it’s called a “nail biter.” This is not a habit that you want to do regularly. Not only do they make your fingernails look ragged, it can affect your teeth. Then you might have to go to a Clearwater dentist to see what can be fixed.
Don’t keep doing this habit. Learn how biting your nails can affect your dental health.
Nail Biting Can Shift Your Teeth Out of Place
When you bite your nails, you are not only causing damage to your nails, you are also putting constant pressure on your teeth. That can then cause them to slowly but surely shift into positions that you don’t want. When your teeth shift, that causes problems with things like eating and talking, along with an aesthetic look that you don’t want. It’s subtle at first and then it worsens over time.
If your teeth do shift out of place, then the solution often involves orthodontics. That means either braces or clear aligners like Invisalign. Yes, this can be expensive and it can all be avoided by not chewing your nails. That also includes not chewing on pencils or pen caps, since they can also cause the same problems.
A Chipped Or Broken Tooth Can Be Caused By Nail Biting
Biting your nails can also affect the actual structure of your tooth. That is, if you do it too much, then you run the risk of chipping or breaking a tooth instead of a nail. The results of this can be a tooth with a tiny chip or one that is broken in several spots. If you don’t get it fixed, then it can worsen over time and you can even get an infection that causes more problems with other teeth.
The solution, depending on how bad the chip or break is, can vary from dental bonding to veneers to needing a crown. The crown will protect the broken tooth and act like a natural tooth. While it is durable, you still should not use that to bite your nails. You will pay a good amount of money to fix these, so use that possibility as a deterrent to stop the nail biting habit.
Biting Your Nails Can Result in Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
Should you bite your nails, you run the risk of not only affecting your teeth but also your jaw. When you are doing this, you can move your jaw in ways that it should not and it can wind up making it go out of alignment. Your jaw muscles will be tense, and that creates issues … and the result will be Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. The temporomandibular joint is located right about where your ears are.
As a result, you may hear clicking when you open your mouth. There may also be jaw pain and your jaw may even lock. If this is the case, you will likely need to see an oral surgeon to get work done. You might have to go through physical therapy or pain management. All of this will cost money, and the whole thing can be avoided by not biting your nails.
Bacteria Ingested From Nail Biting May Lead To Stomach Health Issues
You may think you wash your hands enough, but there is often bacteria lurking underneath your nails. When you bite your nails, you will be introducing that bacteria into your mouth and your gastric system. That can lead to stomach upset and possibly even other gastroenterological problems.
This can lead to your having to see a doctor and take medication and even possibly requiring surgery, though that is usually very rare. You want to keep as much bad bacteria out of your mouth – though there is bacteria everywhere. Your risk of stomach problems goes down dramatically if you keep your nails out of your mouth.
How Can You Stop Biting Your Nails?
The simplest solution is to keep your nails trimmed very short anyway. Then there will be nothing for your teeth to bite. It takes 30 seconds to clip your nails and you can do it a couple of times a week, possibly more if you consume a lot of dairy. If that is hard, you can put something bitter like nail polish on your nails. That will stop it. Figure out what causes you to do it and avoid those situations. Then you can gradually stop.
Contact Clearwater’s Most Trusted Dental Professionals Today
Do you bite your nails? There’s help for you – just contact Clearwater’s most trusted dental professionals today! The staff at the Dental Emergency Room will gladly help you with your nail-biting habit. They are open 24/7 and they can fix any dental issue that occurs from nail-biting. Give them a call today at 727-449-2424 and start your journey to stopping this habit.