Dangers of Nail Biting

The Hidden Costs of Nail Biting

At Palola Dental, we strive to be a comprehensive resource helping patients throughout Waipahu and the surrounding areas achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. And while we’re proud to offer dental treatments like teeth whitening and dental implants to help that happen, few things matter more than how you care for your teeth at home. Strong oral hygiene is the foundation of a healthy smile, but it’s not the only thing that matters – and if you find yourself biting your nails more than you’d care to admit, you may be putting your teeth in danger.

How Biting Your Nails Can Hurt Your Teeth

Nail biting is a common nervous habit and seems relatively innocuous at first glance. But don’t let that fool you: the effects of nail-biting go far beyond beat up nail polish. Biting your nails can have real consequences for your teeth and your general health, including all of the following:

  • Dental Erosion: The first and most crucial dental health side effect of nail biting is dental erosion. This occurs because the teeth aren’t designed to chew on anything other than food, and when they bite the hard keratin in nails, it can gradually erode the outer layer of hard enamel, leaving the teeth weakened.
  • Tooth Fractures: Weak, eroded enamel and the hard keratin of nails is a bad combo. Over time, it’s possible for the teeth to weaken enough that they chip, crack, or break from biting a nail, dealing potentially severe damage to the tooth.
  • Sensitivity: Eroded or cracked enamel can also expose dentin, the tooth material below the enamel. Once exposed, this causes the tooth to be sensitive to high or low temperatures, often making it painful to eat or drink.
  • Decay: Enamel is the protective layer of the tooth, and once weakened, it makes the tooth more vulnerable to bacteria and the acids they produce. This means erosion can lead to dental decay and cavities, which require expensive treatment.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Waipahu Family Dentist

These are only some of the potential health consequences of nail-biting, so if this is a habit you struggle with, we encourage you to break it once and for all. Feel free to contact us if you have more questions on nail biting, how to stop it, or dental health in general. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we wish you luck in protecting your teeth by dropping the nail-biting habit!