NAIL-BITING: UNSIGHTLY AND HARMFUL
Q: I bite my nails. Are there any dental concerns about that?
A: There are indeed. Nail-biting is more than an unsightly habit. It can play havoc with your mouth, particularly with the operation of your temporomandibular joints, the joints in front of your ears where the jaw bones meet. Any activity, like nail-biting, that puts the teeth in an unnatural position for an extended period has the potential to strain the TMJ. The unnatural position will eventually stretch the muscles in the jaw, cause pain and throw off the balance of the TMJs.
If a very young child develops the habit, it can produce a gap between the front two teeth. Additionally, the type of person who is prone to bite nails may also be prone to picking at his or her gums. Non-toxic but unpleasant tasting lotions are available for application to the fingers and nails to remind people to keep their fingers out of their mouths. Another approach is to put a band aid on a finger.
If you, your family or friends need dental care, we would be honored to provide you with state-of-the-art dental care in our modern dental practice. Refer someone you love to someone you trust!
Presented as a service to the community by Doctors Hoover and Yanda,
39 Milford Drive, Hudson, Ohio 44236. 330-650-0360.