Nail biting increases the risk of sickness when bacteria harbored under the nails contacts the face or mouth, explains WebMD. It may also damage the structure of the fingernail and break a person’s teeth, according to the Huffington Post. Nail biters also tend to suffer from gum disease and infection, notes Men’s Health.
Experts say nail biting may increase the likelihood of catching a cold because it involves placing unwashed hands in the mouth. The skin around the nail may also contract an infection, the Huffington Post reports. Nail biting may lead to redness and swelling of the area around the nails. Biting the fingernails opens the skin and increases the risk of spreading diseases. A person who has warts risks spreading them to other parts of their hands or body because the virus responsible for warts spreads as an infection.
Biting of fingernails may permanently affect the structure of the fingernail. Inflammation of the skin around the area that produces the fingernail may cause it to appear bumpy or ridged, explains the Huffington Post. It may also weaken teeth, misalign them or break their enamel. Bitten-down fingernails may have an emotional effect on an individual due to their appearance, possibly causing embarrassment and anxiety, notes WebMD.