Nail biting is a relatively common habit that affects people of all ages. Nail biting tends to begin in childhood, peak in adolescence and then slowly decline with age. Fingernail biting has been linked to genetics and occurs more often in females than males. Many adults and children are often unaware they are biting their nails because doing so has become a habit. Many children who are nail biters also have other psychiatric disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, separation anxiety disorder.
The main causes of nail biting are stress and boredom. Frustration and loneliness are additional emotional triggers that can lead to nail biting. Nail biting can also be a symptom of a psychological condition such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Exam tension, meeting with a boss can cause stress which provokes the nail biting
What are the Effects of Nail biting?
- Nails are one of the most germ laden areas of your body. You are exposing yourself to illness causing bacteria by biting nails. Nail biting habit can contaminate your mouth with bacteria that are found on your hands. These bacteria can upset your stomach or cause illness
- Bacteria and viruses passed from your fingers to your face and mouth can make you vulnerable to infection
- Your fingers became red and sore. The area of skin around your nails may bleed and become infected
- Nails appear unattractive and bitten down nails can also be embarrassing
- Nail biting leads to temporary or permanent changes to your actual nail
What are the Effects of Nail biting on Teeth?
- Nail biting can cause your teeth to get chipped. Repeated flexure of your teeth’s enamel occurs when you bite your nails and can cause the enamel to fracture or chip
- Nail biting can cause wear down your teeth over time. Enamel wear and uneven biting surfaces will result by the nail biting. Continuous stress on your front teeth leads to misalignment of teeth
- Nail biting habit can create a gap between two upper front teeth. If the nail biting habit begins when the child is very young, it has been reported to cause a gap between teeth.
- Nail biting can cause the roots of your teeth to become weaker. Nail biting during orthodontic treatment has been shown to cause root resorption, cause teeth to become weaker. Nail biting delays your orthodontic treatment
- Nail biting can cause temporomandibular joint problems such as disk displacement, jaw pain, locking and popping of the jaw
- Trauma to the gingiva may occur during nail biting and this leads to gingivitis
- Your teeth will lose due to continuous stress on them
How to stop Fingernail Biting?
- Wrap your fingertips with band aids or electrical tape
- Keep your hands busy with other activities such as playing a musical instruments, painting
- Put an unpleasant tasting substance on your finger tips
- Apply nice nail polish
- Keep nails trimmed short then you will have a less of a nail to bite
- Get regular manicure. After manicure your nails look attractive and you’ll be less likely to bite them
- Try yoga, meditation, deep breathing, squeezing a stress ball to relax you
- Counseling and medication are advised to relieve stress and anxiety
- Mouth guard can help to stop nail biting habit
- Try chewing gums to keep your mouth busy