There are a lot of people in the world who bite their nails. It is a bad habit but some people cannot get rid of it, no matter how hard they try. It is important for these people to understand the causes that lead to the biting in order to get rid of it. People should know that there are lots of causes that lead to nail biting.
Nail biting overview
The medical term for this habit is onychophagia and it refers to people who have the compulsive habit of biting the nails. It is not only the nail that people bite, but the soft tissues around the nail plate as well. This habit is usually seen in children and young adults. It is not common for the older adults to bite the nails but there are some who do. It is mostly people between the ages of 10 and 18. After that period, most people simply stop biting the nails. According to the studies, boys bite their nails more often than girls. People should also know that most causes of nail biting are related to stress, anxiety and nervousness, among other factors.
What causes nail biting?
The experts are still unsure of the real causes of nail biting. However, certain studies claim that one of the main causes is stimulation. A person who lacks it or has too much of it bites his or her nails. It is believed that these people will bite the nails when they are under a lot of pressure believing that by doing that they will release the tension. A lot of these people bite the nails when there is nothing else to do and in this case nail biting is a reaction towards boredom. A person who is feeling deeply guilty due to some reason is also likely to bite the nails. Experts believe that nail biting can also be genetic. Nail biting is sometimes a sign of oral fixation.
What does nail biting cause?
First of all, the area where a person bites the nails will become painful. Bleeding and a swollen fingertip are also pretty common outcomes as well. The cracks near the nail may even get infected due to the bacteria which are present in the saliva. A deformation of nail beds is a possibility for people who bite the nails for a long time. Oral infection such as cavities and gum infections are also a possibility. In order to stop biting the nails, people should try avoiding the situations that make them do that.