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How Nail Biting can Affect your Teeth

February 2, 2017
Posted By: Dr. Jennifer Virmani
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Nail biting is a common habit, and a tough one to break! Biting your nails can put a lot of stress on your teeth over time, even though you may not be able to feel it on a more acute level. Some of the potential dental issues that occur from nail-biting include:

Cracked or broken teeth

Even though your teeth probably feel much stronger than your nails, putting the additional pressure of nail biting on your teeth on a regular basis can cause a lot of stress. This can eventually lead to cracks or breaks in your teeth, which can lead to severe damage and intensive treatment needs in the future. If you are biting your teeth while undergoing dental treatment, like braces, it's even more common because of yet more pressure on your teeth from the dental procedure.


Studies have shown that people who bite their nails are at a higher risk for developing bruxism, which is severe teeth grinding. This can cause discomfort, damage to the teeth, and damage to the jawbone. Bruxism is unintentional teeth grinding, and it can also cause recessed gums as well as tooth loss in extreme cases.

Damaged gums

Nail biting can also cause damage to the gums. When jagged or sharp nails scrap against your gums, they can become irritated or more severely damaged over time. Additionally, putting your hands in your mouth frequently can cause bacterial infections in your teeth and gums over time. The bacteria can essentially spread throughout your body, creating more potential problems.

There are a lot of products available today to help break the habit of nail biting, including products to paint on your nails that taste bitter. Many people bite their nails without even thinking about it, so if you are unable to kick the habit on your own, it may be time to try out one of the options available to assist with the process!


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