Harmful Effects of Nail biting on the TeethHarmful Effects of Nail biting on the Teeth

Nail biting, also referred to as onychophagia, is a common habit exhibited by individuals of all ages. In many cases, nail biting starts at an early age. An individual may develop this habit due to several reasons, such as boredom, curiosity, anxiety, and more. Whatever may the reason be, nail biting can have adverse effects on your dental health.

Let’s take a look at the harmful effects of nail biting on the teeth.

Teeth Chipping

The nails are a type of soft bone. When chewed on, it can affect your teeth. Some people have nails that are very hard. By constantly biting your nails, your teeth can start to chip and crack, which can lead to cavities and toothache.


According to the Journal of General Dentistry, individuals who have a habit of biting nails, pencils or unnecessary clenching of the teeth can develop Bruxism. Bruxism is a state in which a person unintentionally clenches his teeth. Due to this habit, dental and facial pain can occur. Therefore, you need to kick this habit as soon as possible. Bruxism also results in headaches, tooth sensitivity and tooth loss.

Damaged Gum Tissues

Nail biting also results in damaged or torn gum tissues. This damage happens due to jagged and sharp fingernail edges. Also, when we bite our nails, bacteria from the body can find its way into our mouth and then to the nail bed, ending up in the bloodstream.

Trouble Wearing Braces

The purpose of wearing braces is to exert pressure on the teeth, so that they can be pushed back inwards. For people with braces, nail biting can be much more harmful. By biting your nails, you are multiplying the pressure that is already being exerted by the braces. Also, constant nail biting can affect the quality of your braces and make them fall off, costing you a lot of money.

Bad Breath

We have discussed earlier that our nails carry bacteria. When you bite your nails due to moistness, the bacteria can find their way into your oral system. This can result in mouth sores and bad breath.

Effective Ways to Stop Biting Your Nails

Trim Your Nails

The best way to give up on the habit of nail biting is to trim your nails regularly and keep them short. Shorter nails will make it difficult for you to bite your nails.

Give Them a Bad Taste

This one sounds weird, but it is very effective. Try coating your nails with nail polish that tastes bad. The awful taste of the nail polish will help you give up this nasty habit.

Find Your Triggers

Notice the things that make you want to bite your nails. It could be due to fear, confusion or anxiety. The moment you feel something of the sort, you know you have to stop.

Stay Busy

Try to get busy and before you can know it, you will stop biting your nails.

Your oral and dental health is crucial to your physical and mental health and well-being. Habits like nail biting can negatively affect your teeth and make you sick. Follow the above-mentioned tips to get rid of this habit for good!  For more information on your oral health, give Paul Mansky Dental a call today! Paul Mansky Dental is located at 1155 East Long Lake Road Suite 8, Troy, MI 48085 and can be reached at (248) 689-5508.