When you’re stressed or feeling anxious, is it normal for you to bite your fingernails? If so, then your dentist in Waco says you need to read on! That’s because he’ll reveal the danger that it puts your oral health in and explore some healthier ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
The Dangers of Nail Biting
Let’s start our discussion by establishing that your teeth are only meant for a limited list of functions, which include:
- To bite and chew food
- To help you speak correctly
- As a support for your jawbone and facial structure
Any activities done outside of these three things are beyond the scope of the natural function of your teeth. Furthermore, they could damage them or lead to a dental emergency.
What Happens When You Bite Your Nails
Let’s first look at what your teeth are composed of. When you bite in or onto anything, your enamel bears the brunt of it. Considered the hardest substance in your mouth, it is still fragile because it’s intended to bite into things that are softer than it. Thus, when you bite your nails, you are bringing two hard substances together and one of them has to break.
The danger is that there’s always a chance that your tooth will give in instead of your nails. Another problem is that biting your nails creates an abnormal situation for your jaw. Furthermore, you could experience irritations and infections from the shifting that can occur with your teeth.
This is because they are designed to fit snugly into their places. When something comes along to alter that, it affects your gums as well as your teeth, and can allow crevasses to open for bacteria to seep in and cause infection.
Alternatives to Relieve Stress
Knowing that biting your nails can damage your teeth still won’t make your stress and anxiety go away. So here are some alternatives to consider:
- Try meditating in a quiet space to still your mind.
- You can adopt a new exercise routine to help your mind and body release stress.
- Eating healthier provides your body with the necessary nutrients to balance your hormones and lower your stress levels.
- You can also seek counseling so that you can talk through some of your difficulties with a trained professional.
Now that you know the danger of biting your nails, you have the ability to make the necessary decisions on how to correct your behavior. You can also get help from your family dentist in Waco, so that you can enjoy a healthy oral cavity for years to come!
About the Author
A Texas native and a second-generation dentist, Dr. Rick Cofer approaches dentistry with the attitude that “you should be a student for life.” He uses his drive to be the best and constantly learn more to benefit his patients at Premier Family Dental. Dr. Cofer can be reached for more information through his website.