Dental tips provided by Burnaby Dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group.
Whether it is something you do only occasionally during moments of stress or anxiety, or whether you are a compulsive nail biter who constantly nibbles and gnaws without even being aware of it, you may want to give more attention to your nail biting.
While it is commonly acknowledged that nail biting is an unsanitary habit, did you know that it can also have detrimental effects on your oral health? Nails are hard, so when you bite down on them you are causing excess stress to your teeth. Over time this weakens them and can eventually result in your teeth chipping, breaking, and wearing down. Eventually, it may even affect your bite; this being the arrangement and appearance of your teeth. Therefore, aside from having unsightly hands or fingernail infections and ugly fingernails, you might end up having cracked, broken, misaligned teeth.
Nail biting also causes stress to your gums, and there is an added risk of bitten nails tearing into the gum tissue. In the long run, this can result in gum disease, which will eventually cause loose teeth, missing teeth and other related medical ailments. Another consideration is that the bacteria in the nails can spread in the mouth and the bacteria in the mouth can spread to the nail bed and consequently into the blood stream, resulting in other health complications.
People with braces are affected to a even greater extent by nail biting. This is because the pressure exerted by nail biting in adds negatively to the already existing massive pressure by the orthodontic brace. This added pressure can damaging the roots of your teeth, even to the point of making them loose, not to mention hindering the success of your orthodontic treatment.
Other forms of health problems related to nail biting include infections of the nails and surrounding tissue, oral herpes and unpleasant mouth infections such as thrush.
The effects of nail biting can be much more far reaching than it might initially appear. While not really an expensive habit, it might end up costing you thousands in dental bills.
There are solutions, however. Foul tasting clear nail coating is available at drug stores which can hinder your tendency to nibble, and mouth guards can also be a viable solution to breaking the habit.
If you bite, please don’t hesitate to ask your dentist at North Burnaby Dental for input on what might be the best approach for you.