Everyone knows that biting their nails is bad for their teeth, but how much your oral health can be affected by this bad habit might still surprise you. If you're trying to beat this habit, consider the three following ways that biting your nails on a regular basis could be wrecking your oral health.
People who bite their nails potentially increase their risk of developing bacteria-related problems in their oral health, like gum disease or tooth decay.
This happens because fingernails and fingers tend to be teeming with bacteria. Any time you bite your nails, you introduce those foreign bacteria into your mouth, where they can quickly go to work irritating your gums or creating decay for your teeth. While you can reduce this risk by ensuring that your hands are clean, getting every bit of bacteria off your hands is nearly impossible, so you're likely to introduce some into your mouth regardless.
When you bite your nails, you put a whole lot of pressure on them and the jaw that's supporting them. If you do this often enough, you could eventually develop a bony bulge under your gums called a torii.
Luckily, torii is luckily benign and is essentially a natural process in your mouth gone wrong. When you chew your food normally, pressure is evenly distributed across your teeth, and thus your jaw. That pressure helps to encourage your jaw bones to make new cells, restoring old or dead bone cells and staying strong in the process. Excessive pressure in one area can kick this process into high gear, potentially resulting in torii if it goes on for long enough.
These bulges can go away on their own if you stop biting your nails, so consider that incentive to break the habit.
Finally, biting your nails can have a significantly negative effect on your digestion. Not only are you introducing bacteria into your stomach whenever you bite your nails, but you're also dulling your teeth.
Digestion actually starts in the mouth. The moment you pop food into your mouth, your saliva goes to work with enzymes breaking it down. However, these enzymes can't do a very good job if they can't get into the food. Chewing your food is essential for this process to work. However, if you've been biting your nails for a long time, you can blunt your teeth, making it actually harder to chew and tear your food down into the little pieces it needs to be. This means that if you're a habitual, long-time nail-biter, you might experience more stomach problems after meals than those who don't bite their nails.
These problems can be avoided if you work on breaking the nail-biting habit and visit a dentist. The dentist can ensure that your oral health remains in good shape, and he or she can help you to restore teeth that have been damaged by this habit. If you're tired of putting your oral health at risk, get in touch with a dentist right away.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!