Biting your fingernails is a habit that individuals can develop at a young age. Not only can this behavior leave your nail beds in a mess, but it could also heighten your risk of oral health complications.
If nail biting persists, you might sustain structural damage to your smile that will need extensive restorative dental work to repair. Dr. Clement Monroe and Dr. Kamron Monroe, dentists serving patients in Pinehurst, NC, list three issues that may occur in your smile if you bite your nails.
3 Oral Health Risks from Biting Your Nails
Breaking a Tooth
Your teeth can withstand a great deal of wear and tear, but the hard texture of your fingernails can create a large amount of pressure when you bite down on them. This pressure may cause teeth to chip, crack, or fracture.
This type of injury can disrupt the appearance of your smile, but it may pose a threat to your oral health too. Cracks can deepen over time, and you may experience a heightened risk of an infection in the pulp of your tooth.
That infection may require root canal therapy to treat, so if you do sustain tooth breakage, you should seek prompt treatment to repair the tooth. Your dentist may cover a damaged tooth with a dental crown for optimal protection and restoration.
Harming Prior Dental Work
When you receive restorative or cosmetic dental treatment, you might have fixtures in place over your teeth, including dental fillings or porcelain veneers. These tools are designed to endure the typical wear and tear that your teeth sustain. But increased pressure from biting down on hard items like your fingernails may cause them to become loose or break.
You will need to visit your dentist for emergency repairs or replacements for this type of dental damage. But you can avoid the excess time and money spent in your dentist’s office by ceasing this habit.
Misaligning Your Bite
Nail-biting generates pressure that can harm the structure of your smile, but it may also negatively impact the positioning of your teeth. Biting down on your nails might make teeth shift out of place, creating gaps, overlap, or crookedness in your teeth.
Not only will this misalignment of your bite affect the appearance of your smile, but it can make it more difficult to complete your oral hygiene routine effectively. If you cannot remove excess plaque from your smile, you may be more prone to cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. Your dentist can straighten teeth with Invisalign, but you can preserve your smile by avoiding biting your nails.
Find More Preventative Care from Your Pinehurst, NC Dentist
Drs. Monroe and Monroe Implant and General Dentistry offers teeth cleanings and other preventative dental care to patients of all ages. Talk to a highly-qualified dentist in Pinehurst, NC who specializes in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 910.295.4242 or reach a member of our staff online.