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Have you ever chewed on your nails? Do you know anyone who does? If you do, we aren’t surprised– especially if you thought of a child or teenager. In fact, about 60% of children bite their nails while nearly 45% of teenagers do the same. Fortunately, nail biting does become less common as we age, but some individuals still bite their nails without even realizing what they’re doing.

Typically, stress, boredom, and anxiety trigger nail-biting. Others may chew their nails when they are frustrated or lonely. Sadly, this can lead to a wide variety of issues, affecting your oral health. The first problem is that your fingernails, and the area under your fingernails, are generally the dirtiest part of your body. By chewing on them, you could be introducing these germs into your mouth which puts you in danger of different health issues. This can be especially problematic if you have gum disease, because the bacteria can enter your bloodstream and lead to a variety of other health issues.

However, there can be other repercussion. For instance, did you know that if you bite your nails, you could wear down your teeth and ultimately have an uneven bite? Similarly, you might be surprised to know that if you chew your nails, your tooth could fracture.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to break the nail biting habit. For example, try treating yourself to a manicure, keeping your nails short, and using nail polish. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to contact Professional Dental & Implant Center at (212) 579-0552. Dr. Yakov Royzman and Dr. Karina Zaygermakher and our team look forward to hearing from you soon!