Everyone knows that biting nails is a bad habit to have, but just because you know that's true doesn't necessarily mean that you can put a stop to it. If you bite your nails and haven't been able to quit, it's time to focus on mitigating the damage that you're doing to your teeth, rather than trying to stop it entirely. Here's what you need to know about the damage that's been done to your teeth and how you can ensure that it's repaired and kept to a minimum in the future with the right dental care.
What It Does
Biting your nails is seriously bad for your teeth. It's not just a matter of making them crooked, although it can certainly cause that. Biting your nails can cause long-term damage to your teeth that can put their overall health at risk.
When you bite your nails, your upper and lower teeth snap together, applying pressure to each other. Since they're both made of the same equally hard substance, enamel, they wear each other down gradually over time. Doing this often enough will wear down the teeth, or in some cases, cause chipping or breakage.
Getting it Repaired
This kind of damage is a necessity to have repaired. It doesn't just impact the way that you look, it also can put the health of your teeth at risk.
Getting it repaired, thankfully, is no big deal. Most dentists will be able to fix minor damage to teeth from nail-biting with a simple filling. This isn't the same sort of filling you might be expecting, though. Drilling typically isn't necessary for this sort of repair. Instead, your dentist will just clean the teeth and then apply the filling to them to help fill out the tooth's natural shape, making it look nice again and feel right when you bite down on it.
Why It's Important to Be Seen Often
The thing is, the damage to your teeth doesn't stop at chipping and breaking. If enough of the internal parts of the tooth are exposed to the outside world, a serious infection can happen.
This is because the internal part of the tooth, or the pulp, is vulnerable to infections when bacteria strike. Normally the tooth enamel does an excellent job of keeping these bacteria out, but when that part of the tooth has been worn down or broken off, there's no protection anymore. Putting off getting help when you know you're doing damage to your teeth could eventually result in the loss of the entire tooth.