How A Nail Biting Habit Affects Teeth

Nail biting is a common habit, and a tough one to break! Crunching the nails can put a lot of stress on your teeth over time, even though you may not be able to feel it on a more acute level. Some of the potential dental issues that occur from nail-biting include: Chipped teeth, Bruxism, TMJ problems, and Damaged gums


Know someone who likes biting their nails? At first you might think that it’s just a natural habit. But biting your fingertips can eventually become a huge problem especially when you get used to doing it.

Cracked or broken teeth

Even though your teeth probably feel much stronger than your nails, putting the additional pressure of nail biting on your teeth on a regular basis can cause a lot of stress. This can eventually lead to cracks or breaks in your teeth, which can lead to serious damages in your incisors or molars. If that happens, we need to do dental treatment.

If you are biting your teeth while undergoing a dental treatment, like braces, the damage is even worse due to the roots are undergoing stress from the braces already.  Additional stresses on the weekend roots can cause shortening of the root length..



Studies have shown that people who bite their nails are at a higher risk for developing bruxism, which is severe teeth grinding. This can cause discomfort, damage to the teeth, and damage to the jawbone. Bruxism is unintentional teeth grinding, and it can also cause recessed gums as well as tooth loss in extreme cases.

Damaged gums

Nail biting can also cause damage to the gums. When jagged or sharp nails scrap against your gums, they can become irritated or more severely damaged over time.

Skin Infection

Additionally, putting your hands in your mouth frequently can cause bacterial infections in your teeth and gums over time. The bacteria underneath the nails can possibly spread throughout your body, creating more potential problems, especially in a immunocompromised individuals.  Some children can even develop S. aureus around their face due to frequent finger sucking and nail biting.

There are a lot of products available today to help break the habit of nail biting, including products to paint on your nails that taste bitter.  Many people bite their nails without even thinking about it, so if you are unable to kick the habit on your own, it may be time to try out one of the options available to assist with the process!

Get a Better Dental Care at Madison Avenue Dentists, PC


Know more about the numerous ways you can attain an optimal dental health. Nail biting is one of the many minor habits you unconsciously do each day and there are other small unnecessary practices that may cause harm to our teeth such as brushing your teeth right away after eating sweet or acidic foods.

You heard that right! Check out Dr. Ash Estafan’s explanation on what is the best practice and why brushing your teeth after eating is not advisable:
(video from our youtube channel)

At Madison Avenue Dentists, we believe you deserve an utmost oral health care.

Talk to us and we will assist you with the best dental health plan that suits you well and that you deserve!