Many people bite their fingernails, and the reasons are numerous. Habit, boredom, nerves, self-mutilation are many of the reasons given, but the consequences on oral health are rarely discussed in connection to nail biting. There is evidence linking nail biting to chipped or broken front teeth, illnesses due to ingesting germs and bacteria that live on hands and under the fingernails as well as the possibility of passing a mouth born infection on to your hands. Breaking this unsanitary habit can be difficult, but affordable dentistry is available to explain the perils that come from nail biting and ways to break the habit.
Nail biting is a more common affliction with young people, but some adults struggle with breaking this nasty habit. Biting nails or hang nails can have powerful affects on both the upper and lower front teeth. Even though dental enamel is the strongest tissue in the body, constant pressure from biting nails can result in the chipping or fracturing of the tooth.
When this happens, the patient is faced with either going through life with a broken tooth or a trip to the dentist for cosmetic treatment to fix one or more affected teeth.
How many people, including nail biters, would consider licking the door knob of a restaurant? When you bite your nails, you are exposed to the same germs and bacteria from the door knob you just touched as you bite your nails waiting to get your food!
Patients that bite their nails while undergoing orthodontic treatment face double trouble. In addition to the pressure exerted on teeth from braces, the pressure from biting nails can complicate treatment.
What can your dentist do to help curb this distasteful habit? For many patients, wearing a mouth guard is the catalyst that finally allows them to break the nail biting cycle. Worn on either the upper or lower teeth, a mouth guard protects teeth while discouraging biting nails.
For patients with more deep seated issues, psychological treatment may be recommended in addition to wearing a mouth guard.
The positive results that can come from breaking the nail biting ritual is healthier teeth and gums not to mention healthier and more attractive hands and nails. Nail biting may not be hazardous to everyone, but why take the chance? Avoid the possibility and break the habit!
If you want to stop biting your nails and need help breaking the habit, contact the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow. Call his skilled team at 972-458-2464 today to make an appointment.