Why should I stop biting my nails?

girl biting nails

Habits die hard and long-term habits along with their negative impact on health pose a challenge when we try to stop them. Nail-biting is a commonly encountered habit, some of us start biting our nails when we feel nervous.

Here are the reasons for you to stop biting your nails.

Nail-biting is also referred to as chronic onychophagia, commonly considered a stress-coping habit. The habit usually begins in childhood after 4 years of age. It has a gender predilection for boys, this habit frequently continues to adulthood and as per experts can have the following serious effects:

●    Damaged teeth due to chewing on the hard nails

Biting your nails thinking that your teeth are strong is not a good decision as long term biting of nails can cause deleterious effects on your teeth.

The side effects are

Tooth structure getting chipped off gradually

Erosion: the surface of teeth becomes eroded and appears yellowish, shiny and cracked

erosion of tooth

Poor alignment and gaps: Nail biting can lead to gaps in between teeth resulting in poor alignment of teeth or malocclusion. This can further result in issues with your bite.

gap in teeth

Resorption of tooth roots: In extreme cases nail biting can cause resorption of tooth roots, resulting in loosening of teeth in severe cases teeth can even start to fall.

loose teeth

Inflammation of gums: The bacterial load in nails can enter your gums and cause infection in gums known as gingivitis.

gum inflammation

Bruxism: It is a habit of grinding teeth mainly at night, further leading to reduced tooth height and teeth sensitivity. Nail biting increases the risk of developing bruxism.

  • The skin around the nails becomes sore and can further get infected

●    Changes in the external appearance of nails

●    The tissue present underneath the nails for growth can be affected resulting in stunted growth of nails

●    The placement of contaminated fingers in the mouth can make the individual prone to cold and other infections.


Sometimes the habit can be managed at home through conscious and constant efforts, whereas in some cases, expert intervention is required.

Below mentioned are some measures that will help you end this habit:

●    Know the triggers

Try to figure out the situations that led you to bite your nails, for example, anxiety and stress. Focus on solving the problem and try to bring down your nervousness

●    Keep your nails short

        Having trimmed nails will it hard for you to bite. Trim your nails on regularly.

nail cutter

●    Manicure on a regular basis

After spending on the manicure, you may not feel the need to bite on the aesthetic nails!

●    Apply a flavor to your nails

Unpleasantly flavored nail paints are available over the counter.

●    Follow a gradual approach

Planning and withdrawing the biting habit suddenly can be challenging. Therefore, follow a gradual approach and start from a single finger, avoid biting one of them and then two-finger, and so on. This will soon bring you to a stage when you will no longer bite any of them.

Our dental clinic in Dubai will help you reach the finest oral health; thus, do not skip dental appointments because the risk of infection is high, which can lead to a variety of health problems. These can sometimes impact other organs and cause difficulties in the body. So call us or schedule an appointment right now.

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