Why is it Bad to Bite Your Nails?

If you suffer from biting your nails, then you might think you’re alone in your struggle. But nail-biting is a surprisingly prevalent issue. An estimated 30 - 45% of adults bite their nails.

The figure is higher in teenagers and quite common among people with anxiety disorders. Others picked it up as a childhood habit and never broke it. 

If everyone is doing it, can it really be that bad? 

What This Article Covers:

Why is it Bad to Bite Your Nails? 

There Are Tons of Bacteria Under Your Nails

Think of every single thing you touch throughout the day. Now think of all the other people that have touched those things and the things they touched. It’s frightening how many germs we pick up throughout the day. 

These include enterobacteriaceae, a large Gram-negative bacteria family. You might recognize some of its lower classifications like E. coli and Salmonella. This is a common problem under nail biters and can lead to abdominal pain and diarrhea.  

Human papillomavirus infection (HPV), a common STI, is also prevalent among people that bite their nails. 

Increased Risk of Infection

Infection risk is another reason why you shouldn’t bite your nails. The constant abrasion from nibbling on your nails causes tears on the cuticle and the nail fold. It’s the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. 

why do people bite their nails

Infected nail folds are often painful, red, and swollen. This leads to ingrown and puss-filled nail folds and nail beds that might need to be drained by a doctor. 

It’s Bad For Your Teeth

Nail-biting is bad for your teeth and gum health. The biting habit can cause gum infections and cause really bad breath. Severe nail-biting can also shift your teeth and damage teeth enamel. Teeth enamel protects your teeth from extreme temperatures and tooth decay. 

If that wasn’t enough, nail-biting can also cause Bruxism. Bruxism is a tooth-grinding condition that can cause permanent damage to your teeth and jaw. 

You Might Get Toxic Poisoning

Some nail polishes contain the “toxic trio” - phthalate, dibutyl, and formaldehyde. These chemicals have been linked to certain cancers and reproductive problems. Our nail polish is an example of polish that is free from toxic chemicals but should still not be ingested.

Because of the small amounts we use on our nails, the evidence is inconclusive about its long-term effects. Before using polish, check if your nail polish is toxic. Educate yourself on nail polish ingredients and if nail polish is bad for your nails.

How to Stop Biting Your Nails

We’ve covered why biting your nails is bad in gory detail. But knowing why you should stop is not the same as knowing how to stop. 

Use A No Bite Nail Polish

what causes nail biting

An anti-nail-biting polish is a great way to start your recovery. Our No Bite Nail Polish is bitter and works as a quick deterrent from nibbling on your nails. No bite nail polishes are one of the benefits of nail polish and are useful for more mild nail-biting cases. 

Keep Your Nails Neat

Keeping your nails neat and manicured can do wonders in keeping them away from your teeth. We also recommend ORLY Nailtrition Nail Growth Treatment to help strengthen your healing nails. 

Be Aware of Your Mental Health

Check into why you are biting your nails. Severe nail-biting is often a manifestation of stress or other psychological conditions. Consider getting treatment from a mental health professional and develop ways to manage stress. Try to avoid situations that can be overwhelming.

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