If you have a bad nail-biting habit, chances are you've tried to quit at one time or another and haven't been successful. Nail-biting is considered an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and as such, it can be an extremely difficult habit to break. If you've been doing it for a long time, chances are your teeth have already been damaged by the habit, but that alone may not be enough to stop you. Here's what you need to know about protecting your teeth from being damaged even further.

Breaking the Habit

If at all possible, stop biting your nails. Consider using additional tools to break the habit, like topical products to make your nails taste bad, or wearing a mouthguard to prevent yourself from biting through your nails. If there's a trick out there that you haven't tried yet, give it a go. Stopping this habit will help to prevent extensive damage to your teeth, going so far as potentially putting the health of your teeth at risk. However, if you've really tried and just can't stop, there is another way to help protect your teeth.

The Alternative

One thing you can do is to ask your dentist about the possibility of dental crowns. Dental crowns are often used for repairing or patching teeth that have been extensively drilled for decay. However, that's not all they're useful for. Dental crowns can also be placed over damaged teeth that are susceptible to further damage.

While a filling could potentially repair the damage that's been done to your tooth, if you continue to bite your nails, a filling won't be strong enough to withstand the chronic pressure of nail-biting. However, crowns are much stronger and will last for longer than a filling could while simultaneously taking the pressure off of your tooth itself.

What to Expect

Getting a crown over a damaged tooth is a fairly straightforward process. Your dentist will take any necessary scans or x-rays to measure your tooth, and will order a new crown for you. Once the crown is ready, the dentist will call you in for a final exam and cleaning of your real tooth. Then, the crown will be fitted over it. The entire process is complete without any need for pain relievers or numbing.

Crowns are very strong and can help to prevent a full loss of your real teeth if you're a regular nail-biter. Talk to a dentist about how your teeth have been damaged by nail biting and to get started on a fix. For more information, contact a dental office like Four Corners Dental Group.