Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You

Monday, Jan 4, 2021, 6:00 pm
By:James Fraser

While we all think nail-biting is just a habit, it is actually more than what we think. It can be dangerous; as dangerous as it may permanently stop your nail from growing back. Some of us have this habit. Here are fifteen reasons why you should stop your nail-biting habit immediately. Some of these are very frightening.
1.Germs Love Nails

Nails host a variety of germs such as bacteria, viruses etc that make us sick. The longer the nails are – the more bacteria live under them. Even the cleanest folks have some sort of microorganisms living under their nails. People with poor hygiene habits are more likely to have deadly disease causing germs lurking under their nails.


Germs Love Nails-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You



2.Nail-biting Transfers Germs Into Your Mouth

By biting nails, you are actually eating some of the dangerous microorganisms that are known to cause diseases. When you bite nails, you transport the bacteria/viruses from nails to your mouth. It is not the end! You also bring oral bacteria (germs that live in mouth) onto your nails. You kind of arrange free trips for bacteria from mouth to fingernails, and fingernails to mouth.


Nail-biting Transfers Germs Into Your Mouth-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


3.It Can Damage Your Teeth

Constant nail-biting can damage your teeth. Though you may find them soft, nails are actually hard. While biting nails, you tend to apply force on a particular portion of tooth like on its edges. This can lead to chipped tooth, or even a tooth fracture. If you bite your nails for a very long time, it may lead to a severe dental condition called TMJ.


It Can Damage Your Teeth-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You




4.It Causes Bruxism

Bruxism (teeth grinding) is a condition where people involuntarily grind, gnash or clench teeth, usually during sleep. It often leaves people suffering from sensitive teeth, jaw pain and chronic headaches. Nail-biting is one of the many reasons that cause teeth grinding. Academy of General Dentistry linked long term nail-baiting to bruxism.


It Causes Bruxism-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


5.It Destroys Your Orthodontic Work

Most nail-biters who are on braces can no longer bite their nails like they usually do. However, there are some people who still bite nails despite having braces, especially those who newly got braces. If you are on braces, and if you start biting your nails, you are more likely to put your braces at the risk of breaking.


It Destroys Your Orthodontic Work-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You




6.It Gives You Gingivitis

Nail-biters not only damage their teeth, but also gums. Sharp and hard edges of nails damage soft gum tissue while you try to chew nails. Gingivitis brings a world of dental problems, troubling you with its symptoms like swollen, bleeding and sore gums. Open cuts on gums caused by nail-biting increases the risk of catching severe infections.


It Gives You Gingivitis-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


7.Nail-biters May Suffer from Bad Breath

When something's wrong with nose, mouth or gut, bad breath occurs. There are many reasons why some people suffer from bad breath. Nail-biting is one of them. According to a report that linked nail-biting to bad breath, nail-biters bring tons of gross bacteria into their mouth from their fingernails. The awful bacteria then makes your mouth stink.


Nail-biters May Suffer from Bad Breath-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You

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8.Nail-biting Can Cause Oral Herpes

At the end of the day, most diseases are caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Staying healthy is about staying away from disease causing germs. As we said earlier, nail-biting causes open cuts and wounds on soft gum tissue. Nail biters have a high risk of catching oral herpes or even STIs.


Nail-biting Can Cause Oral Herpes-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


9.Danger of Eating Nail Polish

If you are a nail biter, and wear nail polish, we have a good news as well as bad news for you. Good news is that people who apply nail polish usually have lesser amount of germs on their fingernails when compared to those who don't.

Here comes the bad news. Unless otherwise specified by brands, nail polishes are slightly toxic in nature and can cause serious health problems due to all the chemicals you are eating when biting nails.


Danger of Eating Nail Polish-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You

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10.It is a sign of OCD

Many of us see nail-biting as just a mere habit. But, it is not. According to American Psychiatric Association, nail biting is a sign of OCD or other underlying mental disorders. It is common in children, not so uncommon in teens, and highly uncommon in adults. One can get rid of it only when other underlying conditions such as stress are treated.


It is a sign of OCD-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


11.Compulsive Nail Biting is Linked to Anxiety

Stress, boredom and anxiety are some of the main reasons that drive people into chomp their nails. People tend to bite their nails when they are anxious. If you are a teenager or an adult who is into nail-biting, you may need to consult a psychiatrist. If you don't feel anxious, you are not going to bite your nail.


Compulsive Nail Biting is Linked to Anxiety-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You




12.People Find Nail-biting Gross

Nail-biting is considered as a bad and unhygienic habit throughout the world. If you keep eating your nails, people will find you gross. Nail-biters already know and face the embarrassment their ugly nails give them frequently. So, eating nails is not so cool!


People Find Nail-biting Gross-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


13.It Makes Your Fingertips Look Ugly

Even nail-biters know that their fingers look ugly. Long term biting of nails leads to serious and severe infections. It also leads to a painful condition called paronychia, where bacteria, yeast, and other germs enter into the deep layers of finger. Paronychia causes pain, swelling and pus buildup around fingernails.


It Makes Your Fingertips Look Ugly-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


14.Nails May Eventually Stop Growing

Chewing nails too deep will stop them permanently from growing. Human nails are attached to a fibrous substance called 'nail bed'. Those who eat nails may end up damaging the bed permanently, which will eventually stop the nails from growing. 


Nails May Eventually Stop Growing-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


15.There are Behavioral Therapies Available to Cure Nail-biting

In medical terms, nail-biting is called onychopagia. It is classified as an impulse control disorder. As we said earlier, it is not just a mere habit or an addiction. In most cases, one can cure it by applying a bitter nail polish (specifically made for this condition) on finger nails. In addition, therapies like HRT (habit reversal training) are offered by psychiatrists to treat the disorder.


There are Behavioral Therapies Available to Cure Nail-biting-Here's What Nail Biting Can Do To You


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