Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Nose-picking and nail-biting contributes to evolution of intestinal worms

It goes without saying that people should do their best to get rid of bad habits. But a finger in the nose or a pen in the mouth are not just disgusting – it is harmful for your health.

Experts believe that some habits, harmless as they might seem, may cause diseases. How can most common bad habits damage your health?


Practically all people are in a habit of picking their noses. There was quite a number of research works conducted on the problem; scientists designed a special name for this “abnormality” - rhinotillexis.

If a person picks his or her nose all the time, they may damage the pituitary membrane, cause bleeding or bring an infection.

Teeth-picking with a fork

This habit horrifies all the dentists.

“Forks, matchsticks and toothpicks damage the tooth enamel and gums,” said Svetlana Mala-Muzh, a specialist of the dentistry department of the Moscow Medical Academy. “As a result, you may have serious problems with your teeth. If you need to get rid of food remnants, use dental floss. For the same reasons you should not crack nuts, bite thread or open bottles with your teeth,” she said.

Constant gum-chewing

Dentists recommend to chew gum after meals when one does not have a tooth brush at hand, but no longer than ten minutes. Chewing stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that make the empty stomach ‘digest’ itself. Besides, constant chewing may damage the joint connecting the upper and lower jaws, which may result in difficulties with opening or closing your mouth.


“If you clean your ears with the help of matchsticks, hairpins or toothpicks, you may have severe problems,” doctor Elena Shumova said. “If you irritate the skin inside the ear too often, you stimulate the sulfuric gland and cause the formation of earwax. This will worsen hearing. If earwax already exists, you may push it inside. Moreover, you are likely to damage the eardrum,” she said.


This habit annoys every other individual. Finger-crunching damages finger joints and gradually deprives them of displaceability. If finger-crunching does not cause pain at first, with years it will bring unpleasant sensations. These are symptoms of arthrosis – the disease of joints.

Biting nails and hangnails

“The space under nails swarms with microbes. No one having this habit washes their hands and cleans the dirt under the nails every time they want to bite them,” therapist George Veselov said. “Thus, you can bring eggs of intestinal worms and infectious diseases into your organism.”

As often as not, micro-injuries bleed after nail-biting making the body susceptible to infections. Painful micro-inflammations occur. Think about your stomach – within half a year of constant nail-biting you eat the whole nail on average. It is just with one finger!

Biting a pen tip

You can damage the tooth enamel and gums, cause infection and stomatitis at least. This habit is especially harmful for children. The impact of pencils, pens, felt-tip pens and brushes may make their teeth uneven. As the result, they will get a wrong bite.

Think where you took from the pencil you are biting. What if you use a pen in the public place or borrowed it from your neighbour? Someone took it with dirty hands at best, or someone was biting it before at worst.

Arguments and Facts

Translated by Julia Bulygina

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