6 Unobvious Things That Can Happen if You Bite Your Nails
We often bite our nails when we feel 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 frequently find yourself biting your nails, now may be best time to stop this habit.
Bright Side researched the topic, and found details on why we need to slow down on the nail biting, no matter how comforting it is for some of us.
1. It can damage our teeth.
Your teeth may be a lot tougher than your nails, but nail biting could result in permanent damage to your teeth and even your gums. The frequent grinding between your teeth and nails can cause your teeth to chip or crack. It can also make your teeth more likely to shift out of place, or become loose and fall out.
2. It can cause bad breath.
It’s almost impossible to remove all the germs and dirt from our nails, even with frequent handwashing. That means bacteria that are hidden under our nails have easier access to our mouth when nail biting. These bacteria can linger and multiply in our mouth, causing gum disease and halitosis, or bad breath.
3. It can lead to diarrhea.
The bacteria living in our mouth is bad enough, but the germs we get from our frequent nail biting could eventually find their way into our gut. These germs can cause gastro-intestinal infections that can result to abdominal pain and diarrhea.
4. It can make you more prone to getting a cold.
Any activity that involves touching the face increases our chances of spreading illness. Other people even bite their nails subconsciously and don’t realize it until later. That means they’re more prone to microbial contact, like with the virus for the common cold.
5. It can lead to your face breaking out.
Biting our nails can also cause microscopic breaks in the skin around our fingernails where viruses that cause warts can enter. The virus can then transfer from the fingers or nails, onto the face through touch or when nail biting. This can lead to facial warts, especially near the lips.
6. It might give us chronic headaches.
People who bite their nails also have increased chances of developing bruxism, or the unintentional grinding of our teeth. Those with bruxism might experience jaw pain, tense muscles, pain around the face, and chronic headaches.
Stopping the habit of biting your nails is not an overnight process, but there are ways to help you resist the urge to do so, like covering your fingers or keeping your fingers busy by clicking a pen. There are also special nail polishes that have a bitter taste to discourage you from nail biting.
Have you experienced any other not-so-great effects from nail biting? What do you usually do to minimize biting your nails?