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Do you Bite your Nails? It's Time to Stop!

Posted on 6/25/2015 by Fady Ebid
A woman biting her nails and damaging her teeth. Biting your nails is more than unpleasant to look at - it is bad for your teeth! We are going to talk about the dental side of this bad habit, but as you probably know, there are many bad sides of it that should make you want to quit doing it today. Nail biting actually has a name - it's called Onychophagia. It can be caused by a variety of issues, most often of which is stress or nervousness. It affects children and adults alike and everyone needs to stop in order to save their teeth.

The Risk of a Dental Infection

If you are constantly telling your children to keep their fingers out of their mouths, yet you bite your nails, you are not setting the right example. In fact, you are doing more harm to your mouth than your kids are doing to theirs if they are just putting their fingers in their mouth, because you are putting your nails in your mouth. Underneath your fingernails has two times the number of germs that are on your fingertips. This means that you are putting even more germs in your mouth, putting your oral cavity and physical body at risk for serious infection. Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body, which means that what you put into it gets passed throughout your body.

Uneven Teeth

Biting on anything aside from food is bad for your teeth. It ruins the enamel and could make the edges of your teeth become uneven, which puts you at risk for a lot of other oral health problems. Your teeth were meant to chew food, not bite on hard surfaces like nails. If you chew long enough or hard enough, you could literally wear away the enamel, which is like the shield on your teeth. This means that the lower layers of your teeth, the dentin and pulp, have the risk of being exposed which is dangerous and painful! In addition, chronically biting on your nails could cause the surfaces to become uneven which can cause crooked teeth or an uneven bite.

Weak Roots
As stated above, your teeth are meant to chew on foods, which are manageable. Nails are too hard, which puts unnecessary pressure not only on your teeth, but on the roots beneath them. Over time, if you continue this habit long term, it could cause your roots to become weak. Because your roots are what keep your teeth in place, you could be dealing with a whole host of problems, including the risk of tooth loss in the future.

How you can Stop
Many people think that it is impossible to stop biting their nails, but we have helped many patients put an end to this bad habit. It all starts with you though - you have to want to stop. If you can do it on your own, try little things like putting a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it if you feel like biting your nails; try stress reducing exercises like yoga or meditation; get manicures so that you are less tempted to ruin your nails. If you find that you cannot stop on your own, behavioral therapy is also an option as there might be an underlying reason that you are biting your nails.

The key is that you find a way to stop as you are wreaking havoc on your dental health by biting your nails. Once you stop, you will not only be healthier, but will have prettier and healthier teeth. Call us today for an appointment if you need help putting an end to your nail biting habit!

Preparing For Your Visit
We look forward to meeting you and working with you to achieve full dental health. We ask that you complete your Patient Forms a minimum of two days prior to your scheduled appointment with Lake Pointe Dental - Marietta. This allows our front office team to fully prepare your dental insurance benefits for a comprehensive consultation.

Questions? Please feel welcome to call or email us for assistance.

Lake Pointe Dental Marietta

1880 W Oak Pkwy, Suite 215
Marietta, GA 30062


Open: Mo-Th 9- 5, Fr 9-2

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Lake Pointe Dental - Marietta | | 770-514-0440
1880 W Oak Pkwy, Suite 215, Marietta, GA 30062



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