Periodontal disease is the most common cause of loose, permanent teeth, but nail biting also plays a major part in the abrasion of teeth. The constant force on the teeth stretches the periodontal ligament which holds teeth in place, causing teeth to become loose (known as occlusal trauma). For those already suffering from gum disease, supporting bone becomes weakened even further due to the biting forces.
Young nail biters in particular really suffer some serious repercussions caused by this habit. Both primary and permanent teeth are erupting and during the developmental years, nail biting impacts the appearance and function of teeth. Infection and abrasion can occur if patients have jagged fingernails because they often cut into the soft oral tissues of the mouth. Chronic fingernail biting can also lead to TMJ, which is an inflammation of the temporomandibular joint.
If your nail biting habits have caused damage to your teeth, see a dentist to help reverse the damage. There are many treatments available, including bonding, veneers or crowns. When your teeth are noticeably looser and sensitive, your dentist may recommend a gum specialist to evaluate the condition.