It is known as onychophagia, to the habit of biting the nails. This develops during childhood in most cases, affecting 45% of the child population. It can be maintained until adulthood, being the population that maintains this habit by 10%.

It is a habit of a nervous nature, which in addition to affecting the hands and nails, generating infections and repeated wounds. This can affect other parts of the body such as the mouth and teeth.
There is a clear relationship between the onychophagia and the deterioration of the teeth, with the group most affected by the incisors, since it is with these pieces that we mainly do the biting action.
The most frequent damages found in the teeth are:
  • Nicks of the incisal edges.
  • Loss of restorations.
  • Loss or detachment of crowns or veneers.
  • Fractures or dental fissures.
  • In more severe cases crowding or tooth eruption in bad positions. This is due to the continuous nibbling that generates pressure altering the position or eruptive trajectory.
  • Weakness of dental enamel, due to microtrauma, which occurred during the nibbling phase.
  • Alterations in the mandibular position, occurred by overcoming the jaw pair by making an effective dental clamp when biting the nails. This can generate jaw pain, joint noise or meniscal alterations.
  • Halitosis caused by inhalation or passage of bacteria found in the nails to the oral cavity. This generates bad breath, or alterations of the normal oral flora.
  • Appearance of canker sores, ulcers due to laceration of the mucous membranes or lips during the act of nibbling.
  • Appearance of herpes or other perioral infections, by constantly taking dirty hands to the mouth.

If you did not know all the problems you can have because of this habit, and now you know them, it’s time to leave it!

You can start adopting habits that make it easier to leave the nibbling of the nails, as well as go to your doctor to provide you with some technique or drug if you need it. Regarding oral care, from SJD Dentistas we invite you to come to our clinics so you can do a review, and take all the necessary measures so that your smile is not affected, go to our clinics.
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