Biting your lip, your cheeks, or your tongue, or biting the tissues in and around your mouth is a habit that many people have. But, what causes us to bite? Often it can be brought on by stress. We all have different ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, and boredom. It can also be a nervous habit. Just how harmful can this habit actually be?
Why Do We Bite?
Biting could be nerve related. When you catch yourself biting it is important to recognize it. Once it has been recognized you can consciously and actively try to stop it. In its most advanced stages, lip biting can leave you with chronically cracked, flaking and bleeding lips. However, there are times where you might accidentally bite the inside of your cheek or your lip. We all know how painful that can be and it usually heals on its own. However, there are times when lip or cheek biting can be unavoidable. An abundance of accidental bites could be a sign of something more serious like a misaligned bite (malocclusion) or even TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). When teeth don’t align properly, the likelihood of your cheek, lip, or tongue getting in between them increases.
A misaligned bite poses a serious problem because it can damage your teeth. When a person with a good bite chews food, the pressure of their bite distributes evenly across all of their teeth. A misaligned bite puts more pressure on fewer teeth. This has a chance to chip or break teeth over time. Fortunately, there are many ways to correct a misaligned bite.
Why is Chronic Biting Bad?
No matter what the underlying cause is, biting any part of the mouth hurts! And the discomfort sometimes lasts much longer than the initial zing of pain upon contact. What’s more, after a bite, a mouth sore usually develops. These sores can become infected if proper oral hygiene isn’t maintained. And, a whole host of other potential problems can arise including headaches, tooth shifting, and jaw pain.
If you have a biting problem, be sure to bring it up at your next dental appointment. If you are experiencing the pain of chronically biting your cheeks, lips, or tongue, give AquaSprings Dental a call to schedule an appointment today.