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Nail biting is a bad habit with serious health repercussions. People who bite their nails often develop deformed, shortened and uneven nails. The habit can also wreak havoc on the gums and teeth and cause oral health issues such as tooth grinding, gingivitis and root resorption. Gingivitis is caused when bacteria enters the mouth as a result of fingernail chewing. Tooth grinding can cause tooth sensitivity, headaches and facial pain. If treatment is not sought in good time, the patient may lose a tooth. People who chew nails can also experience pressure on the jawbone.


The pressure that comes from chewing nails causes the jaw bone to reabsorb the roots of the teeth. This causes the teeth to weaken, thereby increasing the likelihood of losing teeth. Nail biting usually starts at an early age. The habit is caused by a number of factors, including boredom, nervousness and subconscious reaction. Nail biting has detrimental effects on heath because the nail houses tons of germs and bacteria. The risk to health increases when the bacteria are ingested through the mouth. There are a number of ways to break the habit.

The dentist may recommend keeping the nails trimmed, getting manicures and applying bitter nail tasting polish on the nails. When you identify the triggers, it becomes easy to formulate strategies to deal with the problem once and for all. Applying bitter tasting nail polish as a deterrent is an easy but effective strategy that makes it unpleasant to bite the nail. The easiest strategy to overcome nail biting is keeping the nails short, since there wouldn’t be any nail to bite. Treatment and counseling services for nail biting patients are widely available at Gage Dental Care in East Los Angeles.