The Dangerous Bacteria Biting Your Nails Introduces To Your Mouth

Everyone knows that biting their nails is a bad habit to have. It damages your nails, your teeth, and is generally seen as a nervous habit that reflects poorly on the person doing it. If you're struggling to break the habit, knowing that you're ingesting a large number of germs and bacteria every time you bite your nails might help. Read on to learn about how you're endangering your gums and overall health when you bite your nails.


Anything that's on your hands can potentially get into your mouth if you bite your nails, and that includes e-coli. As you may know, e-coli is one of the most dangerous organisms you can imbibe, responsible for extreme illness every year. E-coli can be found on the hands due to handling diapers and being exposed to particulates of human waste that are typically found in restrooms.

Ingesting e-coli can cause diarrhea and vomiting, and often requires hospitalization for those who are exposed to it. Although thoroughly cleaning your hands after using the restroom and handling any form of waste may help to prevent consuming this deadly bacteria, trace amounts can be left on doorknobs and even cellphones. If you've touched anything after washing your hands, you could be subjecting your body to e-coli by biting your nails.


Enterobacteriaceae encompasses a wide variety of nasty organisms and bacteria that should never be ingested. Among them is salmonella, which can often be found in kitchens and on hands due to exposure to uncooked meat. Like e-coli, consuming salmonella or other organisms under the enterobacteriaceae umbrella can cause severe gastrointestinal distress.

From Your Nails to Your Gums

If being sick to your stomach weren't enough, you may be horrified to learn that nail biters typically have much cleaner nails than non-nail biters because the bacteria has transferred to their mouths. In addition to the bacteria and organisms listed above causing havoc for your stomach, they can also potentially damage your gums, causing inflammation or infection. Chronic exposure to bacteria, viruses, and harmful organisms can undo any oral health hygiene habits you employ, and can potentially cause gum disease.

Biting your nails is considered to be a bad habit for a multitude of reasons. In addition to potentially chipping your teeth, biting your nails on a regular basis can potentially make you sick to your stomach and cause serious damage to your gums. If you're having trouble breaking this habit, talk to a dentist at offices like Milwaukie Emergency Dentist for tips and advice that can help you to stop.