Nail-biting (onychophagia) is considered to be a common stress-relieving habit. Nail-biting is also the most common of the typical "nervous habits", which include: thumb-sucking, nose- picking, hair-twisting or pulling, tooth-grinding, and picking at skin.
- As people bite nails, they easily transfer bacteria into the mouth and the rest of the body, where it may lead to infections.
- Nail biters are susceptible to paronychia, a skin infection that occurs around nails.
- Nail biting may cause teeth to shift out of their proper position, become misshapen, wear down prematurely, and become weakened.
- People who chronically bite their nails report significantly lesser quality of life than those who do not.
- In 2000, The American Psychiatric Association re-classified nail biting as a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), along with other forms of "pathological grooming"- but for most people nail biting is simply the result of boredom or an open mouth rest posture.
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