Highgrove Dental Care
A Great Dentist
  • Dental Office St. Paul MN

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Welcome to Our Practice

We feature pain-free and sedation dentistry to make your patient experience comfortable and relaxed. Even if you have had difficulty getting and staying numb or you have some catching up to do when it comes to your dentistry, we can help you achieve and maintain excellent oral health. We look forward to welcoming your entire family to our Saint Paul, MN dental office.

Dr. O'Neill

With over thirty years of experience, Dr. O'Neill offers high-quality, reliable results to our patients seeking general, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. Our entire team is committed to providing you with an outstanding experience consistently.


"Dr. O'Neill is a perfectionist! He knows the latest techniques and has the most updated equipment. He is very thorough in his assessments and is knowledgeable. I highly recommend him. Great, friendly staff. Very professional." - Mary Dunnavan

The Long-Term Oral Health Consequences of a Nail-Biting Habit

March 21, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Terry O'Neill
A man holds his hand to his mouth | St. Paul MN cosmetic dentist

If you are considering cosmetic dentistry in Saint Paul, you might be thinking of veneers or bonding to enhance and improve the appearance of your teeth. If you bite your nails, however, you might end up damaging your new dentistry with your nail biting habit.

In addition to the cosmetic implications of biting your nails, there are plenty of other reasons to keep your fingers out of your mouth.

Transfers Bacteria to the Mouth

Your fingers and hands touch everything while you are out in the world – grocery carts, train station turnstiles, elevator buttons, other peoples’ hands, and well, let’s face it – bathroom stuff.

While you may justify your nail biting habit by saying that you wash your hands with soap, but bacteria can linger, especially deep under your nail. By putting your fingernail into your mouth, you can easily transfer bacteria to your tongue, teeth, and gums.

Causes Damage to the Teeth and Gums

Nails are made of a hard protein substance called keratin. Some people have thick nails, and some have thin, but all nails can cause damage by chipping teeth and cutting into the gums.

May Cause Jaw Problems

Biting into anything hard can have a forceful impact on the jaw. Like other joints, jaw joints can pop into and out of alignment. Habits such as nail biting, ice chewing, and crunching hard candies may cause jaw pain or misaligned joints. Nail biting has also been linked to bruxism, or teeth grinding.

How to Stop a Nail Biting

If you are ready to give up nail biting for good, here are some tips to help out:

  • Use a nasty tasting polish with a neem oil base
  • Don’t submit to the habit when you notice it
  • Keep nails trimmed short
  • Manage stress in less damaging ways

If you have chipped a tooth because of nail biting, we offer cosmetic dentistry solutions here in our Saint Paul dental office to restore the appearance of your smile. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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