Cheek biting, tongue and lip gnawing
Loads of people bite and nibble the insides of their mouth due to stress or anxiety, but this self-injurious disorder does create health issues.
So you can’t stop chewing the inside of your mouth.
You have done it for years and it’s an autopilot mode that you just can’t control. Similar to nail biting or skin or hair picking it is a stress related behavior habit that is drawn from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders.
We learn from Quitech Learning about causes and health overtones of cheek biting, tongue and lip nibbling:
What is cheek biting, tongue and lip chewing?
Cheek biting has a very special clinical name of morsicatio buccarum, and is a chronic condition recognized by targeted biting of the skin inside of the mouth. It is a habitual behavior, which is done repeatedly, perhaps even on autopilot without the person realizing.
Cheek biting, tongue and lip biting is common in cities where heightened stress levels are seen. The occurrence also swells with social stresses similar to the pandemic COVID-19 coronavirus that is upon us now.
Body-focused repetitive behaviors such as cheek biting begin any time throughout our lives but can start in childhood and continue through to adult life.
- Work/meetings or boss/co-worker
- Traumatic experience
- Social media
- Accidental biting
- Misaligned teeth
Visually the skin appears as lesions with white craters and pronounced red circles. These can be anywhere from dark red to flaky white skin, depending on when, or how long ago the damage or bite took place. These areas form a ridge-line where the teeth meet and to bite the skin.
Commonly the biter pushes the skin over to a favorite nibble spot, and continues biting until the area is smooth and free from rough skin. This is a cycle that never finishes and is a major part of the ongoing problem.
The same self-injurious process is undertaken on the persons tongue and lips with a similar damaging result. Swollen or bleeding tongues, cracked and peeling lips are some of the very few outward signs of this behavior.
There is also a loose link to mouth breathers and cheek, tongue and lip biters which causes the mouth and lips to dry up more than a non-mouth breather. That is why we encourage you to close your mouth and become much more aware and mindful of your mouth posture.
Is cheek biting a problem?
Most people continue and function in their daily life without this habit becoming an outward problem. However, within the persons mind, they can be feeling unhappy with the ongoing biting. Mouth sores and ulcers affect the pleasure of eating and can also play a major part in forming bad breath.
Canker sores and ulcers are a real nightmare for anyone who has them. But consider the mouth biters plight, once the sore is mostly gone the mouth biter still wants to bite and smooth out this area, continuing the cycle and painful habit.
Repeated mouth biting is potentially the most dangerous and it is advisable to seek some form of treatment to stop cheek biting, tongue and lip nibbling. The buccal mucosa is not meant to be repeatedly healing itself and the cells could change as a result of overloading.
Stop cheek biting, tongue and lip nibbling
You know who you are; you have your hand pushing your cheek and lips over to grab that last bite. To just nibble a few more times, then you will stop… and you do stop, but once it heals a bit, away you go again, chewing, biting and that naughty tongue is searching your inner mouth skin for a new area to harvest.
Try our online Stop Mouth Biting Course
Quit Mouth Biting is an informative course designed to alter the core functioning of your mouth including chewing and mouth posture. We aim to teach and not just tell you what to do. The course is based on research and the daily activities are fun and easy. The lessons are real learning’s from other biters who have successfully quit. We collated the findings of this research and designed new methods to put it into a quit course that we know works. Good luck and have fun! Quitmouthbiting.com