Can Nervous Habits Affect Your Teeth?

Nervous habits happen unconsciously, so we usually do not realize they are occurring repeatedly. Nervous habits that involve the teeth and mouth tissues will over time result in injury to the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth.

Some of the most common nervous habits are:

Nail Biting

Chronic nail biting will in the long term, wear away the enamel of the teeth and may place extra stress on the teeth. Especially with acrylic nails, the damage to the teeth will occur faster because acrylic nails are harder than your own nails. It is also very important to be aware of the risk of oral infection that may occur as a result of bacteria below the nails being transferred into the mouth.

Biting of Hard Objects

Biting on hard objects like ice, pencils, and pens increase the risk of enamel fractures and teeth chipping and cracking.

Holding Objects Between Your Teeth

Holding objects like hairpins between your teeth will cause wear patterns to develop on the teeth used to hold the bobby pins.

Biting Your Cheeks and Lips

Routinely biting your cheeks and lips will cause on-going trauma to these areas. In addition to discomfort, delayed healing and increased risk of infection, cheek and lip biting also increase the risk of abnormal cell growth in the area due to the increased cellular activity in the area.

Teeth Grinding or Clenching

In addition to the muscular strain of the facial muscles during teeth grinding and clenching, there is also significant wearing away of tooth structure over time. Ultimately, the decrease in tooth structure leads to increased tooth sensitivity and change in facial aesthetics.

Becoming aware of these nervous tendencies is the best defence to stop the habit and preventing teeth damage. Often chewing on sugarless gum such as PUR Gum is a great intervention for nail biting. Keep in mind that our teeth were created to enable us to eat food, not to hold objects. If you are experiencing any of these habits and would like more insight, please visit Pina Mazza for an exam and dental cleaning at Maple Dental Hygiene Care.


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