If you bite your nails, though a bad habit, you are not alone. A nail-biting habit may be caused by various reasons. Said to be an unconscious behavior, reasons for a nail-biting habit are boredom, nervousness, frustration, or stress. It can be a learned behavior from family members, or a subconscious and an unconscious habit. In any case, nail biting is a habit that you need to break for several reasons.

Biting your nails yields consequences that affect your teeth, mouth and overall health as well as the appearance of your hands.

With enough force applied, it can damage your teeth and lead to increased tooth sensitivity and pain. It can cause tooth enamel to erode. In severe cases, it can lead to TMJ / TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders) which is a painful condition that causes jaw pain, headaches, and popping or clicking of the jaw. Severe TMJ can cause problems with opening and closing of the jaw. People who wear braces experience the worst problems because the teeth are already in a stressed position due to the pressure of braces. A severe and prolonged nail-biting habit can hamper the result of orthodontic treatment and tooth alignment.

Another side-effect of a nail-biting habit is the possibility of transmitting bacteria from your fingers to your mouth. The human hand and the space under the fingernails can harbor as many as 150 species of bacteria. This habit introduces a possible health risk in the form of increased gum infections, bad breath, and compromised dental health.

Constant and severe nail-biting habits bring pressure and force upon teeth. It can move and push teeth inward or cause them to slightly rotate. It can impede orthodontic treatment and weaken tooth roots. As an added problem, a nail-biting habit can cause chipped teeth, broken dental restorations, and cause teeth to break.

Nail-biting is hard on your nails. Bitten nails are unattractive and harmful to your fingers. According to research, a nail-biting habit (onychophagia), is unsanitary and it can damage the skin around the nail which increases the risk of infection.

It can cause your fingertips to be red and cause your cuticles to bleed. As well, it can increase the risk of infection around your nail beds and in your mouth and introduce infection to your skin and face. It can also increase the risk of colds and other infections by spreading germs from your fingers to your mouth.

Putting your dental health at risk is never good. Our Walled Lake Dental Office wants to make sure your oral and dental health are always at their best. If you have suffered tooth damage from habits such as nail biting, its important to see a dentist and learn about some options. Dr. Hechtman offers full-service dentistry with personal attention and only the most current and advanced dental technology and techniques.

Our goal is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. We accommodate each individual’s special needs and budget. We have a long history of helping individuals who are highly anxious about receiving dental care, or those who suffer from Dental fear and anxiety. Call today and schedule your dental check-up!