Did Nail Biting Just Become Hazardous?

March 7, 2017

It’s estimated approximately 30 percent of the population bites their nails. For many it’s just a bad habit without any real consequences, except for the deterioration of your teeth. Biting your nails may appear to be just a quirk or a fixation you could never end, but if you ask any dentist cairns residents could be putting their teeth and health in harms way. Prolonged and compulsive eating of the nails can cause excessive deterioration of the incisors, increased risk of infections as well as problems with the jaw, and it even contributes to halitosis.

Nail Biters are Vulnerable to Infections

Dentists warn opening or removing the skin around the nails can leave open wounds that can quickly become infected. It’s a fact that sepsis and other infections can be caused by someone who inadvertently nibbles on the skin, and anyone who has the habit of biting their nails should know the risks involved.

What Is Sepsis and How to Treat it?

Sepsis is also known as blood poisoning, and each year, nearly 1 million Americans die due to untreated sepsis. Pathogens or their toxins enter the bloodstream and can affect organs; the body reacts systemically with an immune response to fight these toxins. Fever, a rise in white blood cells, rapid breathing, paleness, and increased heart rate, are all signs that occur when the body is trying to fight off this infection.

The presence of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or fungi is not immediately a danger to humans. After all, we have numerous protective bacteria on the skin or in the gut. It becomes dangerous when the pathogen or its toxins attack the body and try to pass into the blood system. The body’s immune system, on the other hand, tries to fight the pathogens immediately. But when the immune system is weakened, the pathogens can invade vital organs unhindered, and move throughout the body.

Many people with sepsis mistake it for the flu, and this typically results in accidental death. High fever, cold sweats, and hive-like red lines over the body are some of the first signs of an infection, but it requires a doctor’s diagnosis.

The Risk of Oral Problems

Dentist say the continuous nibbling on nails can also erode the enamel of the teeth, especially the incisors, and interfere with the dental occlusion, that is, the way in which the upper and lower teeth join when closing the mouth. Studies show that nail biters are also at risk of developing bruxism, a habit that triggers the loss of teeth, headaches, and problems with the jaw.

Kick the Nail-Biting Habit

Some of the best-known tricks to stop biting your nails are to use transparent enamels that contain bitter ingredients. This can sometimes stop people from their bringing fingers to the mouth. Chewing gum is another simple option. When you think of the toxic substances and germs that accumulate in the nails throughout the day, that’s more than enough reason to keep your fingers, and nails out of your mouth.