The technical name for nail biting is Onychophagia. According to the study at University of Calgaryn, 50% of us will chronically chew our nails at some point in our life. Nail biting has physical as well as emotional consequences. Biting nails regularly can leave your fingers red and sore. The skin around your nails become reddish and gets infected. The viruses and bacteria down your nails enter into your mouth, and make you vulnerable to serious infections.
Who bites their nails?
People at all the ages groups bite their nails.
- About 50% of all the children between the age group 10 and 18 will bite their nails at one time or another.
- Some young adults between the age group 18 and 22 years bite their nails
- Small number of adults bit their nails, and most of the people stop this bad habit of biting nails by the age of 30 years.
It’s bad for your teeth
Biting your nails will make your teeth to work all the day, and may cause you to lose teeth. In some cases, it may cause your bite to become misaligned and keep you at risk of unintended grinding. Nail biting has great impact on the roots of your teeth, making them weak. Nail biting during orthodontic treatment will results in root resorption, when the roots of your teeth get soften by bone surrounding them. This makes the roots of your teeth to become weaker.
Nails easily catch all dirt and debris, and it’s the main reason why cops and coroners look for evidence in crime investigations. When you chew your nails, gems enter into your mouth – says Micheal Shapiro, medical director and founder of Vanguard Dermatology, New York City. Nails are twice as dirty as your fingers, and bacteria under the nails enter your mouth, causing gum and throat infections.
It costs you money
Once you suffer the dental consequence of nail biting, you will most likely visit a dentist for help. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, nail biters will have to spend average money of $4000 and more on their general dental bills (lifetime).
It makes you sick
Your hands and nails are coated with worst kind of bacteria. When you bite nails, bacteria will enter into your mouth and gut, resulting in gastrointestinal infections. While biting your nails, you will intake large amount of nail polish, which is dangerous for your lungs, kidneys and nervous system.
Just think what all you touch during your day, from door handles to toilets. Germs will live on these places for several hours, so when you keep your fingers in your mouth, you are exposed to cold and flu viruses, hepatitis.
Your fingers will hurt
Biting your nails will create small tears in the skin of your fingers, which leads to serious infection or swelling. The virus causing warts is the most common infection for nail biters. This virus can spread to your lips and mouth. So, just stop chewing your nails to avoid complex infections.