Some of us do it as a bad habit, and some of us don’t. Most cheek biters develop this habit early in their life and by the time they reach adulthood, it’s a daily occurrence. Nibbling on the inside of your cheeks has a lot to do with stress and anxiety and if you want to break this cheek biting habit, you will have to look at some of the reasons why you continue with this annoying habit.
The first cause of cheek biting is what we call careless chewing. It’s something we all probably do from time to time. It’s when you’re chewing and usually trying to do something else like talking. This can be remedied by perhaps paying a little more attention to chewing and slowing down while eating.
But again, this is something we all probably do. Thus, an occasional cheek/lip bite is usually not a cause for concern.
More problematic is chronic cheek biting, usually due to some sort of misalignment in your teeth. Misaligned teeth cause our bites to be off, and can cause an occasional nip to the cheek/tongue/lips.
When your teeth are misaligned, they do not close together properly. Our brains realize this, and sometimes look to correct this misalignment by putting something in between them. And what is available to put in there? The insides of your cheek/lips. So if you find yourself constantly putting your cheek/lips in between your teeth, misalignment could be the reason.
The last reason people bite their cheeks is due to a simple nervous habit, much like biting one’s nails. The root cause may or may not have been misaligned teeth or dentures, but nervous habit cheek biting can be prevalent even in a perfect mouth.
So, now that we know the causes, let’s discuss how harmful cheek biting is.
The first and most obvious, harmful aspect is the simple fact that biting one’s cheek often leaves a sore.
Cheek biters may be more susceptible to developing oral cancer.
Ok, we have causes and concerns; now let’s talk about fixing the issue.
The easiest fixes involve paying more attention when you chew, and, in many cases, getting a misalignment in your bite corrected. In fact, those two will likely eliminate cheek biting in a great majority of people.
For chronic nervous habit cheek biters, the solution may need some kind of substitute or training to eliminate the habit. For example, sugarless gum is something that can help. Or, if you are biting your lip, perhaps lip gloss/lip balm, which at least will make you realize what you are doing.
In the end, cheek biting is something almost all of us will experience at one time or another, it may take you a while to get used to not chewing your cheeks, but like any other habit, this one can be broken.
Until next time, keep smiling!