Is Nail Biting Damaging Your Teeth? By Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S. on June 09, 2015

A patient having her teeth examined by the dentistMost people understand that nail biting is a bad habit, but few realize just how damaging it can be. Having short, stubby nails may be unattractive, but there aren’t any real physical consequences to the fingers. Unfortunately, the teeth are a different story. Nail biting puts excessive pressure on the teeth and can cause them to become worn down and damaged. General dentistry care helps to protect the health of the teeth and gums, but for patients who are nail biters, this may not be enough. The dental dangers of nail biting for our Knoxville patients are very real. If the teeth become worn down by this oral habit, they are more likely to suffer from decay and other complications that will require restorative dental treatments. Dr. Thomas G. Zarger offers the dental services that can restore the health and strength of teeth that have suffered the consequences of nail biting.

Dangers of Nail Biting

The teeth are composed of an inner layer of dentin and an outer layer of enamel. These layers serve to protect the pulp and roots in the center of the tooth. The outer layer of enamel is the strongest portion of the tooth and is built to absorb the daily pressure of biting and chewing. However, despite its strength, enamel can only withstand so much force. The teeth are meant to chew foods, not nails. Nail biting not only puts excessive force on the teeth, but the repeated habit causes the teeth to be under almost consistent pressure. This habit pushes the enamel beyond its limits and can cause significant damage. As a result, the inner layer of the tooth can become exposed. Because of pressure placed on the teeth, patients who are nail biters are at an increased risk for the following dental complications:

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth erosion
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Root canal infection
  • TMJ disorder
  • Alignment problems

Restorative Dental Care

Because of the dental dangers of nail biting, we urge patients to work to stop this harmful habit. Unfortunately, even if a patient stops biting his or her nails, the damage that has taken place will not heal on its own. It is important to seek restorative dental care to rebuild the strength of damaged teeth and protect them from more extensive damage. Dr. Zarger offers a full range of restorative dental treatments that can address all stages of dental damage and decay. Depending on how extensive the damage is, Dr. Zarger can place a dental filling, inlay, onlay, or dental crown to replace tooth enamel that has been lost to the habit of nail biting.

Schedule an Appointment

Dr. Thomas G. Zarger offers a comprehensive range of dental services that ensure your teeth will remain healthy, strong, and beautiful. If you are looking for high quality dental care from a caring and experienced professional, Dr. Zarger is an excellent choice. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to find out how we can help you enjoy a great smile. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr., DDS Family Dentistry in Knoxville

Our practice has provided skilled and compassionate dentistry for patients in the Knoxville, TN, community for over 30 years. Dr. Zarger is a member of:

  • American Dental Association
  • Second District Dental Society
  • Tennessee Dental Association
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

We strive to make care convenient and affordable to all patients and accept CareCredit financing to help reduce the cost of treatment. Schedule your consultation today online, or by calling (865) 693-7631.

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