We often bite our nails when we feel anxious, bored, or just when we need to keep our hands busy. In fact, studies show that up to 30% of the world’s population tends to do this. Unfortunately, there are times when nail biting can do more harm than good.
If you still bite your nails frequently, this may be the best time to kick the habit. We researched the topic and found details on why we need to cut down on nail-biting time, no matter how comforting it may be for some of us.
It can damage our teeth
Your teeth can be much harder than your nails, but nail biting can cause permanent damage to your teeth and even your gums.
Frequent grinding between the teeth and the nails can cause the teeth to crack or break. It can also make your teeth more likely to loosen and fall out.
can cause bad breath
It is almost impossible to remove all germs and dirt from our nails, even if we wash our hands frequently. This means that the bacteria that hide under our fingernails have easier access to our mouths when we bite our nails.
These bacteria can remain and multiply in our mouths, causing gum disease and halitosis or bad breath.
can lead to diarrhea
The bacteria that live in our mouths are bad enough, but the germs we get from frequently biting our nails can eventually make their way to our gut.
These germs can cause gastrointestinal infections that can lead to abdominal pain and diarrhea.
It can make you more likely to catch a cold
Any activity that involves touching your face increases your chances of spreading the disease. Other people even unconsciously bite their nails and only find out later.
This means that they are more subject to microbial contact, as is the case with the common cold virus.
It can lead to your face breaking out
Biting your nails can also cause microscopic cracks in the skin around your nails, where the viruses that cause warts can enter.
The virus can then be transferred from the fingers or nails to the face by touching or biting the nails. This can cause facial warts, especially near the lips.
It could give us chronic headaches
People who bite their nails are also more likely to develop bruxism, or involuntary teeth grinding. People with bruxism may experience jaw pain, tense muscles, pain around the face, and chronic headaches.
Kicking the habit of biting your nails isn’t an overnight process, but there are ways to help you resist the urge, like covering your fingers or keeping them busy clicking a pen.
There are also special nail polishes that have a bitter taste to discourage you from biting your nails.
Have you experienced any other effects of nail biting that are not so good? What do you usually do to minimize the possibility of biting your nails?