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7 Things That Can Happen If You Bite Your Nails

Some of us were constantly told by our mothers and teachers to stop biting our nails. But why exactly is it bad? Only when becoming an adult, we understood that it's quite hard to break this habit. No matter how or when you started to bite your nails, this may become a routine.

Onychophagy is an oral disease characterized by uncontrolled nail-biting. And there is no need to do it regularly. Even accidental nail bites can lead to painful and even serious side effects. Here is the list of seven horrible things that can happen when you bite your nails.

1. Nail-biting can lead to an unpleasant skin infection

Biting your nails increases the risk of a bacterial infection under the nail. It is called paronychia and its symptoms include redness, swelling, and nails filled with pus. This infection requires a course of oral antibiotics for treatment.

2. Paronychia can cause more serious diseases

Paronychia or another bacterial infection can infect the hand joints without timely and proper treatment. If you neglect such infections, they can lead to septic arthritis. This disease can require difficult treatment and even surgical intervention. These infections can also lead to life-threatening consequences such as systemic infection or permanent disability.

3. The habit of biting your nails can lead to their deformation

You can damage the nail matrix (the tissue under the nail) and get permanent nail deformations, such as ridges due to chronic nail-biting. Ridges are deep horizontal wrinkles or depressions on the nail. This is a sign that something forced the nail to temporarily stop growing and sometimes even forever.

4. You can pass herpes to your fingers

It’s hard to believe, but if you often have cold sores in your mouth and you bite your nails, it can cause herpes infection on your fingers. Nail bitters can easily transmit warts from their hands to the lips.

5. Nail-biting is harmful to your teeth

Broken front teeth are the most common problems in people who bite their nails. Constant nail bites can not always lead to a complete fracture. But it can split a tooth and create a fissure that eventually picks up a dark stain. But not only your natural teeth can break from nail bites. Dental veneers and dental crowns can also chip or break.

6. Biting your nails can change your bite

People who bite their nails usually use for biting the same teeth again and again. This renewed pressure can affect the orthodontic apparatus by rotating and moving the teeth. So it can completely change your bite. Take into account the fact that all the money and time spent on wearing braces in childhood will be in vain.

7. Gum pain and inflammation

Sometimes fragments of the nail can stick in the gum tissue. If you don't notice them in time, it most likely will cause inflammation and infection. It's not a very common problem, but it still might happen.

A few tips on getting rid of the nail-biting habit

  • Cut your nails as short as possible.
  • Get a manicure every week. Perhaps you will feel sorry for chewing your beautiful nails.
  • Use special bitter-tasting nail polishes.
  • Put some object into your mouth every time you catch yourself with a desire to bite your nails.

The best way to get rid of this habit is to recognize your triggers. It can be something simple like a chipped nail that you try to make more even. But stress, anxiety, or simple boredom can also be a trigger. It's important to get to know the reason and solve the initial problem.

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