Biting Your Fingernails Can Be a Gamble

In 2014, 40-year-old John Gardener bit his fingernails until they bled. Then, he died from a heart attack because of the ensuing septic infection. Known in medical terms as Onychophagy, nail-biting is a habit that affects between 20% and 30% of the human population. It turns out that biting your nails can be quite a gamble. First, there are the germs. Your fingers are already a magnet for all types of germs. Although washing your hands with soap and water is the most significant remedy for those germs, it doesn’t matter how much you wash, your nails continue to collect and store dust, dirt and grime that can be extremely hard to remove. Every time you bite your nails, you're probably ingesting most of those germs, which can cause throat and gum infections and more. Unfortunately, the germs under the nails may also be able to cause much more serious diseases such as salmonella and E. coli, resulting in severe gastrointestinal upset and causing a mayor disorder throughout the digestive system. For a person who continually bites his or her nails, not only does the calcium in the nails wear out, but also the calcium in the teeth. Biting your nails constantly can weaken your teeth severely and may even cause them to change positions and protrude. It’s also accepted that people who usually bite their nails experience the common cold more often than people who don't. If you're continuously infected with a cold, it can weaken your immune system and leave you open to more dangerous ailments. There are, however, things you can do to rid yourself of this bad habit. Keep your nails trimmed short, apply bitter-tasting polish to your nails, get regular manicures, and identify your triggers so you can gradually stop biting your nails.