Harmful Effects of Nail Biting

In addition to being gross and ruining your manicure, nail biting is quite harmful to your health and your teeth. Here are just a few of the ways nail biting can impact your health:

  • Increased risk for bruxium (grinding or clenching of the teeth). Bruxium can cause worn tooth enamel, extreme sensitivity, popping or clicking of the jaw, headaches, recessed gums, and tooth loss.
  • Higher risk of catching a cold or other illness due to putting unwashed hands in your mouth.
  • Greater risk of infection of the skin surrounding the nail. Putting unwashed hands in your mouth spreads bacteria and can cause redness, swelling or infection of the skin and/or nail.
  • Shifting of the teeth or jaw dysfunction. According to the American Dental Association, placing your jaw in a protruding position for long periods of time can place pressure on it which is associated with jaw dysfunction.
  • Increased risk of root resorption (shortening of the roots) or tooth loss when wearing braces. Braces already apply pressure to the teeth and the increased pressure from nail biting can lead to a greater risk for root resorption.

We know nail biting can be a hard habit to break but doing so will improve your overall health as well as your dental health.