Nail biting is gross. You open the doorways to infections, you let your teeth weaken, and abusing your nails persistently also leaves you feeling underconfident about exposing your hands.

The que of problems associated with nail biting does not end there. It’s longer. Another issue linked with nail biting is that onlookers consider you to be a complex patient, someone with low confidence markers.

Guess what? Nail biters are aware of all these problems, yet they continue chopping their nails off mercilessly. Why do they that? Why do they inflict so much trouble on themselves? Well, what answer do you get when you see someone overeat and contribute more and more to his weight?

This person wants to fight overeating, but the habit overpowers him. Losing the habit or his pounds is something he tries but fails to excel at. The same goes for nail biters. Onychophagia is very difficult to get rid of. Victims of the habit try repeatedly and fail to stop themselves from putting their nails between their teeth.

About 20 to 30% of the population is of nail biters of which 45% are teenagers. That brings us to one question; why? Why do nail biters bite their nails in the first place? Let’s see some of the reasons, science believes are behind the troubling habit.


Several people bite their nails simply because they have nothing else to do. Their habit commences the moment their time is freed up. Nail biters are less likely to bite their nails when they are busy in social interactions.


This one was expected, no? Stress or frustration can also be blamed for the awful habit. For example, a nail biter is likely to start the nail-chopping mechanism when he is solving a particularly difficult math problem or is put into a state that induces stress.


Some scientists also relate nail biting to having obsessive compulsive disorder. They are of the view that nail biting aligns with other obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as picking your skin or pulling your hair. Other experts have disagreed entirely this theory.


There are people who are aggressive towards others and then there are those who are aggressive toward themselves. In the 1970’s and 80’s it was thought that nail biting was a form of self-aggression as people mutilated their nails in a way as a result of inward hostility.


A study backs that perfectionists are more likely to bite their nails in stressful situations. Because of overthinking and overworking, they often get frustrated and get to chopping off their nails. So, if you are a nail biter, it can be because you are a perfectionist.

It is not necessary that your habit of nail biting is because of one of these causes. It can be that you bite your nails purely out of habit. Some people are also of the view that people bite their nails because it is a grownup’s way of sucking his thumb. Others attribute the habit to oral fixations.

So, you see, there can be numerous reasons behind why you are so into biting your nails. Notice your patterns when it comes to the habit and you might as well be able to figure out the underlying cause. It can be that more than one of the reasons discussed above fuel your habit.

Either way, it is necessary to control the urge and stop biting your nails. If nothing works, try again. And again. Keep trying until you succeed because nail biting comes with several downsides. It can be painful as well.