We often bite our nails when we’re feeling anxious, bored, or just 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 this habit. We researched the topic and found details about why we need to slow down nail-biting, 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 teeth and nails can cause teeth to crack or break. It can also make your teeth more prone to become loose and fall out.
It Can Cause Bad Breath
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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 nails have easier access to our mouth when we bite our nails.
These bacteria can remain and multiply in our mouth, causing gum disease and halitosis or bad breath.
It Can Lead To Diarrhea
The bacteria that live in our mouths are bad enough, but the germs we get from frequent nail biting can eventually make their way into our gut.
These germs can cause gastrointestinal infections that can result in abdominal pain and diarrhea.
It Can Make You More Prone To Getting A Cold
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Any activity that involves touching the face increases our 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
Nail biting can also cause microscopic cracks in the skin around the nails, where 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 Might Give Us Chronic Headaches
People who bite their nails are also more likely to develop bruxism or involuntary teeth grinding. People with bruxism can experience jaw pain, tight muscles, pain around the face, and chronic headaches.
Stopping the habit of nail-biting is not an overnight process, but there are ways to help you resist the urge to do so, such as covering your fingers or keeping them busy by clicking on 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 nail biting effects that are not as good? What do you usually do to minimize the chance of nail biting?