Side Effects of Nail Biting

Side Effects of Nail Biting

Nail Biting Symptoms
It is but normal for children to display some degree of nail biting, thumb sucking and other disorders. Everyone did some nose picking and hair twirling during childhood years. However, when a habit becomes persistent and extreme, parents, friends and family should start intervening.

Aside from having very short fingernails, other signs that may suggest that one is into nail biting include:

1. Oral herpes
2. Paronychia (nail infection that affects soft tissues surrounding the nails)
3. Herpetic whitlos (lesions on fingers or thumb due to herpes simplex virus)
4. Apical root resorption
5. Damaged dentition
6. Gingivitis
7. Fractures or cracks to incisors
8. Warts around the nail bed

9. Nail fungus

Side Effects 

1. Spreads Germs to Your Mouth
Your hands and nails are loaded with bacteria, fungus, yeast and other harmful germs. When you put your unwashed hands and nails in your mouth, you are just increasing the risk of an infection.
Your nails are an ideal location for bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
A 2007 study published in Oral Microbiology and Immunology tested 59 people to see whether nail biting had any real effect on transporting bacteria to the mouth.
The results show that Enterobacteriaceae were more prevalent in the oral cavities of children with nail-biting habits (76%) than in children with no oral habit (26.5%).
It can even increase the risk of warts and herpes infection.

2. Stomach Problems
When you bite your nails, harmful microbes are transferred from your nails to your mouth and make their way to your gut.
Once inside the stomach, these microbes can cause gastrointestinal infections that lead to diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Children with a nail biting habit are at a greater risk of digestive and enteric diseases like intestinal worm infections due to their weak immune system.

3. Nail Infections
Nail biting also increases the risk of a nail infection. As you bite your nails, tiny tears or abrasions occur around the skin near your nails.
Harmful bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms can enter through these tears or abrasions, thus increasing the risk of infection.
The infection can lead to swelling, redness and pus around your nail, which can be difficult to treat if you do not stop nail biting.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, biting your nails can lead to hangnails and make the skin around your nails bleed.

4. Damages Nail Bed
Apart from making you more susceptible to nail infections, biting your nails can cause severe damage to the nail bed, cuticles as well as the surrounding skin.
A 2011 study published in the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery reports that nail deformities can be caused by subconscious habits like biting the nail as well as picking objects using the nail.
These habits cause elevation of the nail at the distal part and destroy the protection offered by the hyponychium at the distal end.
Chronic nail biting also can lead to irreversible shortening of the nails.

5. Dental Problems
Nail biting is not at all good for your dental health. It can interfere with proper dental occlusion and your teeth may shift from their original position.
It can also crack, chip or wear down your front teeth over time. Those who wear braces put their teeth at even greater risk.
Along with affecting your teeth, biting your nails can damage your gum tissue.
A 2000 study published in the Journal of Periodontology reports that habitual fingernail biting can cause gingival injury.

Another 2010 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice confirms that a fingernail-biting habit can induce a periodontal traumatic injury yielding a more serious complication, such as a gingival abscess.

Simple Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails

Nail biting tends to begin in childhood, peak in adolescence, and then slowly (or abruptly), decline with age. Whether you’re an adult who can’t seem to kick the habit, or a parent of a child or teen who bites his or her nails, here are simple options that are often effective for quitting:

  1. Keep a journal to identify your nail-biting triggers, such as boredom or watching TV, then avoid the triggers as much as possible Wrap your fingertips with Band-Aids or electrical tape
  2. Keep your nails trimmed short or manicured Keep your hands busy with other activities, such as knitting
  3. Consider behavioral therapy, such as habit reversal training7 Put an unpleasant tasting substance on your fingertips (vinegar, hot sauce, or commercially available bitter-tasting options)

Side Effects of Nail Biting Side Effects of Nail Biting Reviewed by Jemes Woxten on 15:41:00 Rating: 5

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