Why Do I Keep Biting My Cheeks?

Cheek biting, also known as morsicatio buccarum or cheek chewing, is a common habit that can be annoying and painful. It is the act of biting or chewing the inside of the cheek unintentionally, which can result in swelling, redness, and ulcers. In this article, we will explore the reasons why some people keep biting their cheeks.

  1. Stress and Anxiety: One of the most common reasons for cheek biting is stress and anxiety. When people feel stressed or anxious, they may engage in behaviors that can help them cope with their emotions, such as nail-biting, hair-pulling, or cheek biting. Cheek biting can provide a temporary distraction from negative thoughts and emotions, but can also cause pain and discomfort.
  2. Malocclusion: Malocclusion is a dental condition in which the teeth are misaligned or not properly positioned. This can lead to biting the cheek unintentionally while eating or speaking. Individuals with malocclusion may be more prone to cheek biting, as the teeth may rub against the inside of the cheek and cause irritation.
  3. Dry Mouth: Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition in which the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva. Saliva helps to lubricate the mouth and prevent irritation, but when there is not enough saliva, the mouth may become dry and uncomfortable. People with dry mouth may be more prone to cheek biting, as the lack of saliva can make the inside of the cheek more vulnerable to damage.
  4. Habitual Behavior: Cheek biting can also be a habitual behavior that people engage in without realizing it. Some people may bite their cheeks while concentrating on a task, or while engaging in activities that require a lot of focus or attention. Over time, the behavior can become a habit that is difficult to break.
  5. Other Factors: Other factors that can contribute to cheek biting include dental problems, such as braces or other orthodontic appliances, allergies, and certain medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or Tourette’s syndrome.

In conclusion, cheek biting is a common habit that can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress and anxiety, malocclusion, dry mouth, habitual behavior, and other medical conditions. If you are experiencing frequent cheek biting, it is important to speak with your dentist or healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment options may include stress reduction techniques, orthodontic treatment, medication, or other interventions based on the specific cause of the habit.

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