Side Effects of Nail Biting

When you are anxious or nervous, what do you do? Do you meditate or practice deep breathing? Or do you bite your fingernails? If you bite your nails, you are not alone. Nail biting is a common habit for many people.

In fact, some people bite their nails without realizing it. Unfortunately, many people engage in this behavior without knowing the consequences. While many may consider it a harmless habit, it can have several negative effects. It is not just your nails that suffer. Biting your nails can impact your oral and overall health.

Side Effects of Nail Biting

Oral Health: More Than Just Teeth

Nail biting doesn’t just affect your nails. This behavior has a much farther reach than your fingers. It can have negative effects on your oral health as well. While your teeth are directly affected, nail biting can create a domino effect of damage to your mouth.

Your oral environment requires a delicate balance to remain healthy. Biting your nails can disrupt that equilibrium. As a result, you can suffer from many different dental and health concerns.

Teeth: Casualties of Nail Biting

One of the first casualties of biting your nails is your teeth. Constant nail biting can cause chips and cracks in your teeth. This can allow bacteria to travel into your tooth, causing decay or infection. Also, biting your nails all the time can wear down your teeth. Dental erosion is the process that removes or wears down your enamel over time. This can compromise the structural integrity of your teeth.

In addition, nail biting can put excessive pressure on your teeth. Over time, this can potentially cause them to shift out of alignment. This means that you may suffer from crooked teeth or jaw misalignment. Having crooked teeth can make it more difficult to clean your teeth properly. Jaw misalignment can lead to headaches, TMJ, or difficulty eating.

Gum Damage and Infections

Biting your nails can also damage your gums. Nail biting can irritate and damage the delicate tissues of your gums. This can lead to soreness and bleeding. Also, your nails can cut or scrape your gums. Open wounds in your mouth invite bacteria and infection. Essentially, open wounds provide an entry point for harmful bacteria. This will increase your risk of infections.

Unfortunately, infections in your mouth can become dangerous.

Oral Hygiene Compromises

When you put your fingers in your mouth, you transfer dirt and bacteria. The bacteria and germs that reside under your fingernails can move into your mouth. Unfortunately, this can negatively affect your oral hygiene. An increase in bacteria can have significant consequences for your oral health. In fact, you may have a higher risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease.

Self-Esteem Impact

While biting your nails can damage your teeth, it can also hurt your self-esteem. Biting your teeth can make your nails look unattractive. They can become jagged or damaged. As a result, you may damage your self-esteem and your confidence.

If it is of concern to you, visible nail damage can cause embarrassment. It can even impact your social interactions.