If you sometimes bite the inside of your cheek, you’re not alone. Many people worldwide indulge in this seemingly harmless tic. However, you’d actually do well to avoid it – cheek biting harms your oral health. In other words, maintaining the habit will damage your mouth. Thankfully, though, it’s possible to resist cheek-biting behavior. Your McKinney dentist can even show you how. To that end, here’s a summary of cheek biting, how it affects oral health, and tips on how to stop it.
Why Would People Bite Their Cheeks?
Many things can lead you to bite the inside of your cheek. Still, the reasons are usually physical or emotional.
At times, a physical factor can cause you to bite your cheek. You might do it while eating too quickly, eating too fast, talking during a meal, or getting injured. Likewise, a bite may occur if your wisdom teeth scrape your cheek.
Emotional motives can also prompt cheek-biting. After all, someone depressed or anxious might do it to relieve stress. In that scenario, the biting could be a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB).
How Does Cheek Biting Harm Oral Health?
No matter the cause or reason, cheek-biting harms your mouth. Overdoing it irritates your gums and similar tissues.
For example, the practice often triggers canker sores. That much is natural – biting your mouth’s lining will upset it. From there, the resulting sores can cause struggles with eating and speaking.
Chronic cheek biting also leads to redness and tears in the mouth lining. If it’s BFRB-related, it could also cause feelings of shame, guilt, or hopelessness.
How Can You Stop Doing It?
To quit biting your cheeks, there are several things you should try. These include the following:
- Find Stress Relief –With a physician or therapist’s help, learn stress-relieving exercises that make inner cheek bites unlikely. Such things might include breathwork, meditation, etc.
- Replace the Habit – If your cheek biting is a nervous tic, you could replace it with something else. One good option is chewing sugar-free gum.
- See a Dentist – A dentist can offer braces or extraction work when cheek bites stem from a wisdom tooth. Either choice would align your teeth and solve the dilemma.
While cheek biting harms your oral health, you don’t have to endure it. Use the tips above and seek help from your local medical providers!
About the Practice
Oakbrook Dental & Orthodontics is based in McKinney, TX. Led by several amazing dentists, our practice provides top-quality oral care for all its patients. We thus offer preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services tailored to your unique smile. Furthermore, our team is well-equipped to perform emergency services like tooth extraction and root canal therapy. For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (469)-526-4040.