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Do you have a habit of chewing on your fingernails, maybe to the point that your nail beds start to bleed? Well, consider this a wakeup call from your teeth. Nail biting may not seem to do real harm to your fingers, but it can cause permanent dental issues.

Perhaps when you were younger, your adult teeth didn’t align properly and you wore braces for a few years. If orthodontia is an experience you prefer to never repeat, it’s important to keep your fingers out of your mouth. Constantly shoving your fingernails into the crevices between your teeth will cause your teeth to shift overtime, making them crooked and crowded.

Another reason nail biting is destructive is because the keratin (the protective protein of your fingernails) is abrasive and will strip the enamel from your teeth. When enamel is gone, the softer, vulnerable tooth tissue is left exposed to bacteria and tooth decay. Furthermore, the constant pressure and prodding of fingernails could crack an entire tooth. Cracked teeth require dental fillings and even tooth surgery. If the crack is severe enough, your tooth may need to be removed.

Now that you know the dangers of nail biting, it’s time to break the habit. Ask Dr. Mauricio Martinez about solutions to your nail-biting habit, such as chewing sugarless gum instead of your nails. In addition, schedule a dental appointment with Gulf Coast Smiles at least every six months to ensure your teeth aren’t suffering any permanent damage. You can contact us at 239.549.0001 or visit our facility in Cape Coral, Florida.