Quiz: Is Nail Biting Bad For Your Smile?

You might be familiar with some very obvious habits that are bad for your oral health – particularly those that are performed on a regular basis. For instance, you know that guzzling coffee or any drink high in sugar (or something very acidic) is bad for your teeth. You know that chomping on ice or eating too-hard foods can chip or crack your teeth. However, you may not know where nail biting falls on the spectrum. First of all, it falls in the “bad” category. As for the details, let’s see if you grasp the severity with a quick quiz.

Quiz: True or False?

  1. True or False: Biting your nails is only bad for your oral health but it won’t harm you in any other way (unless you accidentally swallow a sliver of a nail).
  2. True or False: Biting your nails will not lead to damage to your teeth.
  3. True or False: Nail biting may result in some functional disorders that can lead to serious complications for your oral health.

Quiz Answers

  1. False. Biting your nails is an easy way to ingest viruses and bacteria that can lead to illnesses you may have otherwise not experienced. Even if you are thoughtful about cleaning your hands frequently, this still poses a health threat.
  2. False. Biting your fingernails may lead to oral health damage, such as a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth, particularly if you are biting your nails quite frequently.
  3. True. If you bite your nails on a regular basis, you may be placing enormous strain on your TMJs (jaw joints) and the muscles that allow you to move your teeth back and forth. As a result you might be setting the stage for jaw joint disorders as well as something called bruxism, which includes chronic grinding or clenching of your teeth.


Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Cliniccontact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.