It’s estimated that nearly half of all humans bite their nails. Usually attributed to nervousness, stress, or boredom, nail biting could even be a result of genetics. However, no matter your reason for biting your nails, we at our dental office in Woodbury, want to give you five reasons it’s bad for your smile and why you should try to stop.
- The Money. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) reports that nail biters spend around $4,000 more in dental bills throughout their lives than non-nail biters. The increase in dental bills results from more required treatment since nail biting can have some serious, damaging effects on teeth.
- The Damage. Nail biters are constantly nibbling away with their front teeth, which, just like other parts of the body, need to rest occasionally. The continuous pressure put on teeth by nails can create chips or cracks in teeth, and may also lead to uneven wear.
- The Grinding. According to the AGD, nail biters are at increased risk for bruxism. Bruxism is when someone clenches or grinds their teeth subconsciously. This dental problem can lead to headaches, facial pain, worn down teeth, and jaw pain.
- The Jaw Pain. In addition to bruxism causing pain in the jaw, nail biting can also lead to TMJ Disorder. Since nail biters often adjust their mouths in order to get the right angle to chew off a piece of nail, the jaw is put under abnormal pressure. TMJ Disorder can result in additional problems and pain including more headaches, more jaw pain, and locking or popping of the jaw.
- The Germs. Your fingernails are home to tons of germs and bacteria and hosts about twice as many of these unhealthy fellows as your hands. When your nails are gnawed off and enter the mouth, the germs can enter the body and make you sick. Additionally, if nails are swallowed, it could lead to stomach problems.
All of us at our Woodbury dental office are dedicated to providing our patients with the best care possible. If you’re a nail biter, please let us know so we can take proper precautions, and help you avoid more damage. We also want to provide treatment to fix any issue that may already exist.
Creekview Dental serves patients from Maplewood, Cottage Grove, Newport, Stillwater, Oakdale, Lake Elmo and Hudson.