Onychophagia, the habit of biting your nails

March 16, 2018

You may not have heard the word onyxophagy many times. However, you know very well what we are talking about. This word comes from the Greek “onyx”, which means nail, and “phagein”, which means to eat. In other words, it is the compulsive habit of eating or gnawing at your nails with your teeth.

Many people think that this urge to bite their nails is typical of people who have anxiety or stress. We could say that this disorder is accompanied by these psychological problems, but really, it is due to another cause, and has a lot to do with dentists. Find out and find the answer in our post.

Onicofagia, la costumbre de morderse la uñas

Why do so many people have onicophagia?

It is an emotional and behavioural disorder that may require the help of a professional. It seems to be an unimportant gesture, but in reality it can have dangerous consequences for the mouth and the rest of the body. For example, this bad habit can cause

  • Wearing out of the upper and lower incisors. Continuous biting is capable of eroding the enamel, even chipping and fracturing the pieces.
  • Alterations in the jaw. The gesture of biting the nails can also take its toll on the temporomandibular joint. The problem is that such a movement implies a forced position for the jaw and can even cause difficulty and pain in chewing food.
  • Injuries to the gums. The little pieces of nail that dance around the oral cavity can become embedded in the gum causing wounds that can end up being infected.
  • Bacterial infections. Nail biting can lead to a transfer of bacteria, increasing the risk of infections in the mouth and in the rest of the digestive system.

So if you are one of those who have this habit, onychophagy, it is worth considering a remedy and trying to solve it to maintain good health. Consult us and we will help you.


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