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Nail biting can affect your health and your teeth

The pressures of work, the stress of the holidays, the worries about the economy… these days it seems there is definitely a reason to be biting your nails. But, there are also several reasons to break the habit in the New Year.

Research has proven that people who bite their nails are more likely to crack, or chip their front teeth or incisors. The constant pressure of biting down on something can lead to bruxism (unintentional grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw). Bruxism can cause headaches, tooth sensitivity, recessed gums, tooth loss, and unnatural tooth wearing. Jagged sharp fingernails can tear and damage gum tissue. Bacteria, fungus, and viruses can hide underneath the nail and when bitten off be introduced into the body through the mouth causing infection and disease.

A bad habit is difficult to break. Wearing a special mouth guard can help to deter nail biting or try to keep an emery board with you and file your nails instead of biting them. You can purchase bitter-tasting products that you brush onto your nails to prevent the biting. You can also examine the streses in your life that are triggering the nail biting and try to focus on calming techniques to help you change these stressors. Above all, at Scottsdale Dental Arts we want to see you have a happy and healthy new year.