Volume 2 (Issue 3)

pp. 94-99

Open Access

Review paper

Nail Biting among Children: Paediatric Onychophagia

Ulfat Amin*, Asmat Parveen, Insha Rasool, Shahnaz Maqbool

UA, AP: Syed Mantaqui College of Nursing, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, Kashmir 192122, J&K, India

IR: Alamdar College of Nursing, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, Kashmir 192122, J&K, India

SM: Govt. Medical College Anantnag, Kashmir 192124, J&K, India

*Corresponding author: Ulfat Amin; Email: cuteulfat@gmail.com



04 August 2022


04 September 2022

Cite as: Amin, U., Parveen, A., Rasool, I., & Maqbool, S. (2022). Nail Biting among Children: Paediatric Onychophagia. Inventum Biologicum, 2(3), 94–99. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7048605


In psychiatry, psychology, medicine, and dentistry, nail biting (NB) is a frequent yet unsolvable condition. While it may appear that NB is a simple behaviour that can be easily stopped, most children having NB have previously tried and failed. Others, such as siblings and parents, are frustrated as a result of the failed endeavour. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of NB prevalence, consequences, counselling services, and management. Overall, the examined existing literature reveal that psychiatric disorders and other stereotypic behaviours are present in more than 80% of clinical samples of children with NB, and maximum of the parents had psychiatric illnesses, primarily sadness. However, treating NB is not as straightforward as it may look. The management of NB is significantly more complicated than focusing just on its abolition. It's impossible to predict nail-biting without considering its co-morbidities, triggers, and consequences. Children with NB, their family members, siblings, and instructors, according to the reviewed study, should be educated what to do and what not to do about the illness. Sentencing does not work. Furthermore, evidence-based behavioral and pharmacologic therapy procedures must be made available through clinical randomized controlled trials. Nail-biting and lip biting habits develop as a consequence of stress management among children. Such habits help cope with emotional and physical stresses. As a result, this study is critical in raising awareness about such oral habits and the necessary interventions to effectively stop them. This provides a holistic approach to endodontic care and helps prevent future debilitating problems to the oral cavity and the associated structures.


Nail biting, Aetiology, Behavioural therapy, Comorbidities, Behavioural disorder


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Funding Information

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Declaration of Conflict

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.