ONYCHOPHAGIA – AN AWARENESS BASED SURVEY IN ITS SITUATION AMONG SOUTH INDIAN POPULATION 

Type of manuscript : Survey article
Running title : Onychophagia and its situations

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Tasleem Abitha S

Undergraduate student
Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha University 
Chennai, India.

Dr. Karthick Ganesh. K .

Assistant Professor 
Department of Anatomy
Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha University 
Chennai, India.

Corresponding Author 

Mr. Yuvaraj Babu
Department of Anatomy
Saveetha Dental College
Saveetha University 
162, Poonamallee High Road
Chennai = 600077
Tamil Nadu, India. 

Faculty Email ID : 
Telephone            : +91 98402 10597

ABSTRACT 
 
AIM

To note the situations in which people do nail biting and to create awareness among South indian Population. 

MATERIALS AND METHOD

A group of nail biters were selected and examined with the questionnaire prepared about the situations in which they often follow the habit of nail biting. The information collected through the survey is analysed and presented in statistics.

RESULTS

From the survey it is recorded that, every age people take up this nail biting as a habit in various situations to relax there stress, as a sign of breaking there anger, even in immense excitement. So hence from the current study it is recorded to be that, n number of people follow this habit as a stress buster more during there boredom. 

CONCLUSION 

Nail biting is an unhealthiest bad habit, which looks gross for the people who view it from outside. People who are not warned by there parents and guardians from there childhood end up developing this to be an chronic disease facing side effects in there oral parts, hands, and internal organs. 
And there are number of people, who doesn’t follow this to be an habit, but do nail biting only during certain situations. There side effects are lesser and not more dangerous when compared to those of chronic nail biters. Hence among South Indian population, there perspective among the dangers and risks of onychophagia are clear cut, and they also approve with the side effects of there own habit. Yet, there determination and self control plays a vital role in quitting this nail biting habit permanently. 

KEYWORDS
             Nail-Biting, Side effects, Boredom, Relaxation, Anxiety, Preventions, Unhealthiest.

INTRODUCTION 

Onychophagia is a habit of compulsive nail biting. Nail-Biting is most commonly seen in both children and youth 1. Nail-biting is a disease like other habits which include hair twisting, tooth grinding, nose-picking, and picking at skin. 23 Nail-biting includes biting the soft tissue around the nail as well as biting the nail itself.

Boredom, Excitement, Fear, Stress and other emotional disorders are the main causes of onychophagia. The need to bite or eat fingernails are related to emotional state of anxiety. 

Extreme nail-biting may also leads to short nails, bleeding around the nails, pain around the nail buds, damaged skin around the nail and tip of fingers, hard bumps. The ten fingernails are usually equally bitten to the same level.4

Nail-biting can be a source of guilt and shame feelings in the nail biter, a reduction in there lifestyle, and increased pressure / embarrassment n the inner family circles or at a more societal level 25. 

Modern treatments and measures like manicure are there for the chronic nail biters. The most commonest and cheap treatment is applying a clear and bitter nail-polish, in which the bitter taste will discourage the nail-biting habit. 6 Another treatment for chronic nail biters is the usage of a dental deterrent device that prevents the front teeth from damaging the nails and the surrounding cuticles. After about two months, the device leads to a full suppression of the nail biting urge 7. Nail cosmetics can helps the individual to show more conscious towards beauty, which makes them to stop biting there nails due to there self conscious towards their beautiful nails 8.

In children, it can also be a easily learned behaviour from there family members and neighbours. So parental advices regarding good and bad habits to there kids are most needed. 2 9
Moreover the persons self-control is the only way to quit nail biting completely.

To note the situations in which people do nail biting and to create awareness among South Indian Population.

MATERIALS AND METHOD 

This was an online survey undertaken by using the link https://surveyplanet.com/
This survey was taken by about 107 people who follow the habit of nail biting.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

QUESTIONS 

RESPONSES 

NUMBERS

PERCENTAGE 

1. Is nail biting is a part of your habit ?

Yes

No

I do only in certain situations 

51

31

21

50%

29.8%

20.2%

2. You do this with your self conscious?

Yes

No

43 

59

42.2%

57.8%

3. Are you addicted to nail biting ?

Yes

No

60

43

58.3%

41.7%

4.You do nail biting even when you have any health issues ?

Yes

Sometimes

No

27

41

38

25.5%

38.7%

35.8%

5. Have you experienced any instant stomachache due to nail biting?

 Yes

No

60

43

58.3%

41.7%

6. Does nail biting gives you any relief ?

Yes 

Sometimes 

No, its painful

31

40

30

30.7%

39.6%

29.7%

7. You do nail biting in a highly repetitive manner, in front of surroundings ?

Yes, I do without my own conscious 

Sometimes

No, I maintain my self esteem

36

30

35

35.6%

29.7%

34.7%

8.  Do you bite your nails in front of kids, influencing them towards a bad habit ?

Yes

Sometimes 

Never

19

27

57

18.4%

26.2%

55.3%

9. Are you aware of dangers due to Nail-biting ?

Yes

No

84

19

81.6%

18.4%

10. Have you undergone any dental problems ?

Yes

No

55

48

43.4%

46.6%

11. Are you aware of dental deterrent device ?

Yes

No

47

55

46.1%

53.9%

12. Have you tried transparent bitter nail polishes to quit nail biting ?

Yes

No, I’m not aware of it

45

57

44.1%

55.9%

13.  What made you to take preventions to quit this habit ?

It’s spoiling my nails

Due to some health issues

Read articles

Doctor and parental advices

Unfriendly society 

Others

51

46

49

56

39

9

20.4%

18.4%

19.6%

22.4%

15.6%

3.6%

14. Will you take any preventions from now on to quit this habit ?

Yes

No

86

12

87.8%

12.2%

15. Gender ?

Male

Female

47

57

45.2%

54.8%

 

Hundred and seven people were examined during the survey. Out of which 52 people are Chronic nail biters and the rest do nail biting in only certain situations. People often bite there nails without there own conscious and in it 64% of the people does this in there Boredom’s and excitement 1011.

Mostly, about 82% of the people in the survey were aware of the dangers and side effects of Onychophagia. The most easiest and quickest way to quit nail biting is by using bitter nail polishes, which’s taste will discourage the person to stop nail biting 12. 57 out of 107 People were not aware of the product. 

The most surprising event noted in the survey was, majority of the people stop themselves from biting there nails in front of young people and especially kids, aiming not to influence the growing generation towards a bad habit 13.
It is also noted that more than 50% of the participants have experienced stomach ache and dental problems because of nail biting, from which it is clear that nail-biting can harm our body in any situation 14.

Nail biting is related to the oral problems, which includes malocclusion of the anterior teeth and gingival injury 215. Stomach ache is experienced by the individual who sucks the dirt around and swallow the bitten nails, which is apparently an most dangerous act followed by many chronic nail biters. 

When the current study is compared with the research of Avesh Sachan and TP Chaturvedi’s, “Onychophagia (Nail biting), anxiety, and malocclusion,” it is observed that the past studies view on the physical Illnesses like Malocclusions, Stomach aches and gingival injuries co relates with the current study on the situations on onychophagia 16.

And when the current survey was compared with the research of Ahmad Ghanizadeh’s, ” Nail Biting; Etiology, Consequences and Management”, it is recorded that about 60% of the children do nail when they are nervous and scared, which coincides with the current study by about 45% 217.

The rate of depression among children matches around 74.5% in Ahmad Ghanizadeh’s research, “Association of nail biting and psychiatric disorders in children and their parents in a psychiatrically referred sample of children”, whereas in the current study it is noted to be about 47.6% among the growing kids 18.

CONCLUSION 
From the surveys analysis it is noted that, 87.8% of the people wanted to quit nail biting permanently and they do have tried quitting it by following prevention methods, but ended up as failed attempts and continued with there biting habits again. 

Children are getting easily attracted to some bad behaviours and they are making them as their influence, which allows the kid to continue with the bad habits. Hence, parental and guardians advices are most required for the young kids. For the adult chronic biters, they are preventive methods like daily meditation, applying bitter nail polishes, manicuring and making nails beautiful, so which people give more importance to beauty rather than biting and also technical methods like wearing Dental deterred devices, which is one most useful way to avoid nail biting among kids.

So above all, the individual with determination and self control can only find a permanent way to quit this Nail-Biting habit completely. 

REFERENCE 

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2. Ghanizadeh, A (Jun 2011).  ” Nail Biting; Etiology, Consequences and Management”. Iranian journal of medical sciences. (2): 73–9. PMC 3556753

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