One of the most annoying habits of pets like cats, dogs, and rabbits, is that they tend to enjoy chewing on electrical wires and even dental retainers. Not only is it dangerous to them, but it ends up costing you money spent on repairs or replacements. However, it seems that pets are not the only ones chomping on wires. Human beings are also prone to nibble on nearby wires, much to the detriment of their oral health.

A 2011 survey by educational AV gear manufacturer, Califone, found that 68.8% of teachers witnessed students chewing on headphones multiple times a day. Of course, this results in schools having to constantly replace headphones that no longer work, spending money that would be better spent on education. Adults chew on headphone wires too. Eventually, this habit may have a negative effect on your oral health.

It May Lead to Bruxism

According to research, nail biting, which is a habit that is caused by stress and boredom, can lead to the development of bruxism (teeth grinding). Chewing on headphone wires happens for much the same reason—due to boredom or stress.

If this habit then progresses to night-time or daytime grinding, your teeth and gums will suffer and you could be in for a lifetime of dental treatment.

Your Teeth May become Worn

Although you may rue the fact that your headphones always need to be replaced because of your chewing habit, think about your teeth. The constant chewing, in the same place, and with the same teeth, will wear those areas of your tooth enamel down, leaving your teeth susceptible to fractures and tooth decay.

Your favoured nibbling teeth could also shift and cause your bite to become misaligned. Bruxism tends to follow once teeth no longer connect the way they should, as your body attempts to realign your bite as you sleep.

It Could Cause a Temporomandibular Disorder

The constant pressure placed on your temporomandibular joints—the two joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull—can lead to both minor and serious issues. In minor cases, you may experience head, neck, shoulder, ear, and face pain due to muscle tenderness. Headaches are also common.

In more serious cases, the disc which is part of the joint may become displaced. When this happens, your jaw will pop and click as you open it and there may be swelling and pain. Your jaw may even lock at times. Muscle spasms usually follow. Tinnitus, and ear pain is also a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)

As you can see, chewing on your headphone wires puts more at stake than just your money. If you or someone you know has a similar habit of chewing wires or anything else for that matter, it may be time to address the issue, before a dental emergency arises.