Nervous Habits That Can Destroy Your Teeth

Bruxing, the grinding and clenching of your teeth due to stress, tension, worry, or a number of other reasons can probably be considered a nervous habit if that is why you do it, but another nervous habit that can destroy your teeth is nail biting. Not only is nail biting unsanitary, but it can be a very expensive habit, costing people who bite their nails an additional $4,000 in dental bills over their lifetime. Nail biting doesn’t only destroy your teeth; it can destroy your pocket book too.

Tooth Wear

Over time, nail biting can wear away your tooth enamel leaving your teeth sensitive to heat and cold and vulnerable to harmful oral bacteria. Consistent biting of your nails can also wear away the edges of your teeth making them appear shorter and or uneven. It can also cause your front teeth to become misaligned.


Nail biting puts undue stress on your jaw joints which can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD can cause jaw pain, headaches, neck aches, stiff jaw, and a clicking or popping jaw joint.


According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), nail biters are at an increased risk for developing the habit of bruxing (the grinding and clenching of their teeth). Bruxing can also wear away tooth structure and contribute to TMD.


There lots of bad oral  habits that we do. Although your mouth is already rife with hundreds of different strains of bacteria, biting your nails introduces even more. Even if you are a compulsive and diligent hand washer, the bacteria under your nails is hard to remove without the use of a nail brush. When you bite your nails you are transferring the germs on your hands and under your nails to your oral cavity, exposing yourself to a number of illnesses.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable  general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.