If you can’t tear open a package with your hands, you may opt to use your teeth; if nail clippers aren’t handy, you may bite that jagged nail; or you habitually bite your nails as a stress reliever. But using your teeth as a tool can be a costly, painful, and time consuming lesson. The damage done can lead to the need for a root canal, dental crown, tooth extraction, or any number of treatments.
What can happen to my teeth?
Using your teeth inappropriately can result in a broken or cracked tooth. And you might not even realize you’ve damaged a tooth until you begin to experience pain when biting down or feel a zinging sensation when exposed to hot or cold. The incorrect use of your teeth can lead to the the need for root canal therapy to save one or more teeth.
Teeth are very hard; and we put them through a lot for chewing, speaking, and pressure from everyday use. But they are not invincible, and even though you don’t think you are doing anything wrong, using your teeth for anything but chewing, speaking, and smiling should be out of the question.
Once a tooth is broken or cracked, bacteria can permeate the outer protective layer to reach the interior of the tooth where the nerve is located. Endodontic therapy is used to remove the contents of the root canals to either avoid or treat infection; an opening is created in the tooth and once the root canal treatment is concluded, this opening must be sealed often with the use of a dental crown.
Biting my nails is a habit – how can I break it?
Just like any other negative or bad habit, you have to either find a suitable replacement like chewing sugar free gum; or you need to figure out why you bite your nails, and try to avoid whatever drives you to your bad habit.
Some people may wear gloves during periods when biting their nails is likely like when watching TV. Others may put a flavoring on their fingers; the taste serves as a reminder not to bite nails.
Your teeth are designed to serve you for a lifetime; brush and floss daily, visit your dentist every six months for cleaning, and never use your teeth as tools.