Note: This article contains graphic content that may offend some readers.
Most kids bite their nails despite being scolded probably hundreds of times not to. Parents warn that nail biting is a quick way to get sick, and it’s ill-mannered. Alas, for many kids — and adults — it can be a difficult habit to break.
That is, until they see this Louisiana mom’s Facebook post about the pretty gross way she learned her son was biting his nails.
As THV 11 reports, Sara Guidry happened to notice something odd in her son’s mouth, something white. She posted about the “disgusting” discovery that unfolded in a bid to warn other parents not to let their children bite their nails.
She writes, in part:
Looking in Kale’s mouth I see something white in his gums. I get a tweezer and pull it. It looked like a fingernail. I continued to pull 4 more out.
Guidry then filmed what would be 27 more pieces of fingernail she ended up retrieving from her son’s gums and the roof of his mouth.
Kale has always kept us on our toes. Looking in Kale's mouth I see something white in his gums. I get a tweezer and pull…
In a pretty stomach-churning description, Guidry explained that she figured out that when her son bit his nails, he was pushing the bitten off portion into the soft part of his pallet and gums.
The nail penetrates the skin and goes into a pocket between the baby teeth and permanent teeth.
After pulling out the first nail, Guidry found 27 more in a secondary spot in her son’s mouth.
YES 27! The dentist has never seen anything like this.
Some commenters were encouraged by Guidry’s warning to make sure the same thing wasn’t happening to their kids at home:Facebook
For other parents, there was no need to worry:Facebook
For other parents, the video was all they needed to prove to their kids that they shouldn’t bite their nails.Facebook
As Time reports, Richard Scher, M.D, a nail disorder expert at Weill Cornell Medical College and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, explained that nail biting can be dangerous, from ingesting harmful bacteria that thrives under nails such E.coli and salmonella, to developing painful skin infections called paronychia.
Nail biting can also cause warts, gum disease, and infection.
Although Scher does not mention what happened to Guidry’s son as a possibility for nail biters, chances are anyone who has seen the video and bites their nails isn’t going to try and find out.