Case Study - Habitual Cheek Biting
A 25 year-old female was referred to our website from a dental practice because of lesions localized on both cheeks. Medical history revealed that the patient was in the habit of biting her own buccal – inner cheeks.
The patient was completely aware of this bad habit. Images showed white hyperkeratotic flakes with exfoliated areas which were localized on both cheeks. The flakes could be removed from some parts of the buccal mucosa.
She completed the online Quit Course which gave her a deeper understanding regarding the behaviours of her habit.
The result was she developed new learnings and a positive pathway for the future that enabled her to feel confident around taking control of her behaviours and her biting habit.
Overall, the Quit Cheek Biting Course can be a successful tool to beat this habit through detailed learning, retraining behaviours and written personal observations.
Dental professionals see cheek biting is a habit which occurs approximately in 3.44% of all white lesions and around two thirds of the patients are female.
Other general dental studies which included more than 8000 people, reported the prevalence of cheek biting in 1.9% of people.
Etiology of cheek biting is considered to be psychogenic, caused by wide range of emotions. Repeated biting leads to a chronically traumatized area which is sometimes thickened, scarred and paler than the surrounding mucosa.
Habitual cheek of lip biting generally refers to a more superficial lesion produced by frequently repeated rubbing, sucking, or chewing movements that abrade the surface of a wide area without producing discrete ulceration. Such lesions feel rough to the examiners’ fingers and appear as poorly outlined, macerated and reddened areas, usually with whitish patches of partly detached surface epithelium.
Habitual cheek or lip biting may sometimes produce haemorrhagic bleeding of the oral mucosa.
Habitual lip or cheek biting usually occurs via the unconscious habit. Alerting the patient to the habit is sometimes sufficient to discontinue the habit, however it is advisable to seek more materials so the patient can learn and explore other ways of controlling the habit. More severe cheek biting also occurs in association with uncontrolled tongue thrusting or chewing and grinding jaw movements in individuals with neuromuscular disorders such as tardive dyskinesia.
My tongue is always searching my mouth for skin to nibble. How do I stop?