Nail biting, which is also called onychophagia, is that the act of putting ones fingers in the mouth and biting/chewing on nails with the teeth.
Many begin this unconscious act from childhood and sometimes it graduates into adulthood. Although many people do one thing or the other, like reading a book, sitting alone or chatting with friends when biting the bails, nail biting is harmful to the health.
Various researches have shown the handful effects of nail biting, an act which is commonly practised during idleness, loneliness, boredom, stress, or depression. While some tag this act as a “bad habit,” it is considered an impulsive control disorder – a compulsive habit where one cannot the urge and action to bite their nails.
This action should be paid close attention, especially when it gets to an high level of severity, as it affects one both physically and emotionally. The fingers which nails are bitten is much more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria than others. Imagine the diseases causing agents that can be immediately and easily transported from the fingers via the mouth into the body.
4 effects of nail biting and reasons you need to stop it
1. Dental injury;
Nail biting can cause numerous dental issues. This habit can lead to damages to your front teeth and gum tissue. Fingernail-biting habit causes dental injury which may cause a lot of serious complication, namely, gingival abscess.
2. Oral Infection;
As said earlier, the nails is a potential area for harmful microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, and when you bite – you risk unhindered transfer of diseases into your body.
3. Nail Infections;
By biting the nails, you leave room for tears in the skin around the nail. This will result to soreness, redness and swelling of the finger. This can also enable the entry of harmful germs that can cause infections.
4. Harm To Nail Beds;
Nail biting can cause harm to nail beds. Deformities like irreversible nail shortening are commonly associated with nail biting.
How to prevent Nail Biting
1. Proper self management: Nail biting may be as a result of inactivity, so you should change that by properly managing yourself.
2. Keep the nails short always to curtail the urge biting it.
3. Try to resist the urge to move carry your arms towards the face or lips.
4. Apply bitter-tasting nail polish to your nail. The bitter taste will prevent you from biting the nails.
5. Therapy which will determine the psychological cause of the habit and try to get rid of it.
It is now clear that the effects of nail biting is harmful and can leave one more depressed and embarrassed in public. Stop the bad habit today!
I hope this helps? Stay healthy fellas.