Are you a nail nibbler? Do you have a bad habit of chewing on your finger nails? Experts have now linked nail biting with bruxism, the grinding or clenching of teeth. If you have noticed a sore jaw, pain in your face or sensitive teeth, bruxism and nail biting could be the culprit.
It is important to talk to your dentist during your regular dental checkup if you think you have bruxism, as there are other complications than the symptoms above that can develop if bruxism is not addressed. Your dentist will have some helpful solutions to help address bruxism. Similar to nail biting, you may not realize that you are clinching and grinding your teeth. In fact many people who bite their nails and grind their teeth do it without realize its happening. If you do know you have either habit, it's important to address the habits. The habit of nail biting is something that you can work to fix, if willing. Here are a few helpful hints to help drop the bad habit of biting your nails.
• Keep your nails trimmed, short and well groomed. Clipping your nails and filing them short will help keep longer or ragged nails at bay. It is tempting for nail biters to avoid uneven nails or jagged edges.
• If you just can't seem to stop biting, try applying a bitter tasting nail polish or liquid to your nails
• Having your nails properly groomed is important. If you like the way your nails look you will be less prone to biting them.
• Recognizing that you are biting is a good first step. Try swapping this bad habit for something else like clinching your fist when you have the urge to chew. Try not to develop another bad habit while trying to quit biting.
Biting your nails can lead to infections around your nail bed because of the high amounts of bacteria found in your mouth. There is also germs and bacteria under your fingernails that when ingested can cause illness or other problems. Kicking the nail biting habit will be better for your nails, teeth and overall health.
Posted on the behalf of Dr. Leia Porcaro and Grateful Dental