If you bite your inner cheeks, tongue or lip then you are biting inside of your mouth. Biting inside of mouth can be accidental or a significant underlying problem. The wounds resulting from this menace may be painful and may take time to heal. Go through this article to determine the causes, symptoms, treatments and more.
What causes it
The causes are several, they comprise of the factors leading to biting of the tongue, inner cheeks, and lips. These causes usually from one individual to the other. Here are the most common causes;
1. Compulsive biting disorders
This disorder is a nervous and anxiety controlled process where a victim may bite the lip, tongue, cheeks or other parts such as nails however the pain experienced during the biting may not be really felt because the stress relief and gratification feeling outweighs the pain. This has nothing to do with dentures or misaligned teeth.
You can deal with this disorder by applying therapies such as hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy as well as the use of medications. Visit your medical expert for guidance.
2. Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that links your jaws with the temporal bones of the skull. The joint enables your jaws to move up and down, side to side and thus they make it possible to talk chew, talk, and even yawn. Temporomandibular disorder is a problem with the jaw and the muscles. This can lead to biting inside the mouth. Below are the alleged causes of TMJ:
- Grinding or clenching the teeth
- Movement of soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket of your joints
All the factor above can put pressure on the temporomandibular joint and the major symptom will be biting inside the mouth.
3. Certain medication
Certain medication can interfere with the hormone balance in the body and this too can cause interference in the nervous system. This can trigger obsessive biting disorder that will make you to bite inside your mouth. Examples of such medications include anti-depressants and tardive dyskinesia among others. Wearing orthodontic lip bumper can be significant to avoid such bad habits.
4. Stress and anxiety
Many people usually bite their lower lips, tongue or inner cheeks as a symptom of stress and anxiety. This is what usually triggers compulsive biting problems. Stress and anxiety can cause the temporomandibular joints disorder and thus misaligned teeth. This will make you vulnerable to this problem. Habit reversal technique among other therapies can be applied to correct this situation.
5. Careless chewing
You can also bite inside your mouth if you have bad chewing habits or malocclusion. If you chew things for instance tobacco and at the same time you want to do another i.e. you are chewing and at the same time you want to read or talk, then you can easily bite your lips, tongue on inner cheeks. So if you have identified that you often bite inside your mouth while eating, please stay focused and slow down your eating speed.
6. Teeth misalignment
For many individuals, biting tongue, cheeks or lips is not nervous or their wish, however, it can happen due to misalignment of their teeth. If you have premolars and molars that do not close effectively that you are vulnerable to this condition. Having missing tooth or teeth is another risk factor for teeth misalignment. Don’t also forget that, temporomandibular joint disorder and ill-fitting dentures can also lead to misaligned teeth.
Checkup and correction is a key factor here since misaligned teeth can lead to other dreadful problems other than chewing your tongue, lip or inner cheeks.
7. Ill-fitted dentures
When you put on ill-fitting dentures, you are prone to bite inside your mouth. Such insignificant dentures usually misalign your teeth and this will be the beginning of the whole menace. Make sure you have the best of the dentures to avoid this revolting condition. Talk to your dentist immediately you suspect your dentures are likely to trigger problems.
8. Accidental cheek biting
You can also bite inside your mouth accidentally and this may have nothing to do with anxiety or teeth misalignment as well. It is definitely caused by accidents. It is usual to bite inside your mouth when your cheeks are hit when you talk or you eat quickly. This can also happen during dental work or when your tooth is being extracted.
You should ensure the inside mouth sores resulting during dental work are be treated promptly since such sores increase your chances of biting inside your mouth.
There are more factors that can trigger this condition. Infections that cause bumps or inside mouth sores inside the mouth can also be blamed for the same disorder. Even the burns and irritation from hot or sharp food can increase the vulnerability of biting inside your mouth your mouth.
There are a number of symptoms that can occur alongside inside mouth biting. They will fundamentally depend on the underlying causes. They can be mild or severe, they can come and go or persist. The onset of specific symptoms also will tend to vary. Some may have rapid or slow onset but all depend on the causes. Here are the common symptoms of biting inside the mouth:
- Lateral tongue border is damaged (morsication lingarum)
- damage to the buccal mucosas or morsicatio buccarum (in cases of cheek biting)
- Lower lip, tongue or cheek bleeding
- Soreness or pain in the affected part i.e. tongue, lip or cheek
- Difficulty in eating, chewing or speaking
- Loss of taste
- In severe cases involving infections, the bad smell may emanate from the mouth
- Lip peeling may be due to dryness
Can it cause death? The answer is no, itself alone cannot cause death but can be severe especially if extreme bleeding is involved. But what do you think, suppose biting inside the mouth is due to underlying serious health problem, can it cause death? Well, to this extent, it can be life-threatening. See your GP if your disorder becomes chronic and you can’t stop it.
Biting mouth during sleep or at night
Biting your mouth inside including tongue during sleeping has a wide theory. When you happen to bite your tongue once while sleeping, that may seem to be a normal problem with chronic biting may indicate something serious. Serious or dreadful causes of nighttime inside mouth (more so the tongue) biting include the following conditions:
- Rhythmic movement disorder-this condition involve head banding and rolling, body rocking and trunk movements. This is common in children and may be triggered by injuries such as fractures or brain and eye damage.
- Nocturnal seizures- seizures especially tonic-clonic seizure usually involve loss of consciousness, stiffening of muscles and jerking movements which can potentially lead to a tongue, cheek or lower lip biting.
- Bruxism or Teeth grinding: Biting tongue or inner cheek during sleep may be also a symptom of bruxism. This condition comes into being when you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. This can happen even during daytime. Bruxism is often accompanied by other symptoms such as snoring or sleep apnea
There is no one singular condition that will treat all the above conditions, they may have their specific therapies though a few may be similar. We are about to explore some of the effective therapies, just read about.
Tongue, lip or cheek biting, are disorders or habits that usually begin at earlier ages. This can begin as early as 2-3 months. They may initiate as a habit but later they may be an obsessive disorder. This can also be experienced during teething but irritations caused by infections, burning syndrome, temporomandibular disorders also can trigger it. Now, what should be done to stop this problem? See the solutions below.
How to stop inside mouth biting- treatments
After walking you through the causes and symptoms of biting inside the mouth, determining the correct therapy may be somewhat easy. The therapies will vary depending on the explained causes and severity. Explore some of the applauded therapies that can effectively help you to stop biting your tongue, lip or cheeks.
1. Relax and manage stress
If you usually bite your check due to boredom, anxiety or it is your habit, try to relax. This will reduce anger, pain, stress or anxiety. Try more meaningful techniques include deep breathing, Qigong, meditation, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra, visualization, self-hypnosis, biofeedback among others. Other habit reversal techniques are also available and your GP will guide you through them
2. Bite rectification and jaw alignment
For victims of inside mouth biting, there are many surgical and non-surgical processes that can be applied to bite correction. Plastic surgeries can also be employed to rescue those having misaligned teeth or crooked teeth.
3. Wear mouth guard/ stimulus control
Actually, to bite your mouth, your tooth must be involved. But look here, it is possible to make it hard for your teeth to bite. You can put on the mouth guard. These are dental appliances you can wear to manage to bite. They are more for preventing than treating. So as you wear them, also look for other treatment options.
There are many recommended treatments that are suitable for treating biting disorder especially if this is due to compulsive disorder. No one specific treatment is fit for everyone, they depend on many factors. Drugs like serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be applied to other therapies such as habit reversal training to control this habit problem.
5. Remove excess Tissue
Other options may also include having some tissue removed by a dentist and replaced by sutures so that you have less tissue to bite on. Everydayhealth.com explains that “It is also important to have the area examined, and possibly surgically remove the tissue and have it biopsied, to make sure there are no abnormal cells in the area already”
How to heal sores or lesions from bitten mouth
This problem can yield painful inside sores or lesions and infections can also follow. This can enhance further episodes of biting. So to treat these lesions and sores, here are some wonderful solutions:
- The most effective way to deal with the sores and lesions is by swishing one cup of hydrogen peroxide and 4 cups of water. This will help speed up the process of healing and prevent further infections. On the same line, salty water will also work well.
- You can also rinse your mouth using baking soda. This is achieved by mixing ½ teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water or cool chamomile tea. The baking soda quickens the healing process as well as treating infections
- Another option is to extract some aloe vera gel and swish around the mouth and then rinse with water. The taste may be very repellent but believe it, this is the most wonderful remedy for sores and treatment for infections.
See Your Dentist
If the solutions provided above are not satisfactory or beside them the sores don’t heal and instead, they aggravate, then you have to see your dentist. He may prescribe oral or topical antibiotics as well as anti-fungal and antibacterial medications. He may also prescribe injections and more advanced treatments depending on the underlying conditions.