Why Do I Keep Biting My Cheeks?

Integrative Dental Wellness in Eldersburg, MD
added on: September 1, 2023

We’ve all experienced that familiar and uncomfortable sensation of a sudden sharp pain when you accidentally bite down on the inside of your cheek. It’s an annoyance we often dismiss as a mere accident, but if you find yourself frequently biting your cheeks, there might be more to it than meets the eye. This seemingly innocuous habit can actually reveal deeper insights about our emotions, behaviors, and even our overall well-being. Join your dentist in Eldersburg as we explore the various reasons behind this habit and discuss potential strategies to help you gain control over it.

Habitual Behavior

One of the primary reasons people bite their cheeks is simply due to habit. Just as we may unconsciously tap our fingers or twirl our hair, cheek-biting can become an automatic behavior triggered by boredom or other stimuli. When our minds are preoccupied, our bodies often seek sensory stimulation, and nibbling on the inside of our cheeks can provide that distraction. Becoming aware of when and why you’re biting your cheeks is the first step toward breaking this habit.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can play a significant role in triggering cheek-biting behavior. When we’re anxious, we may resort to subconscious coping mechanisms, and cheek-biting could be one of them. The repetitive motion might provide a temporary release of tension, akin to squeezing a stress ball. It’s essential to address the underlying causes of stress and anxiety through techniques like mindfulness, deep breathing, and seeking professional help if necessary.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Believe it or not, nutritional deficiencies can also play a role in cheek-biting behavior. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins or iron, can lead to oral sensitivities and discomfort, prompting us to subconsciously bite our cheeks. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can help prevent such deficiencies and reduce the likelihood of this habit.

Malocclusion 

Dental problems, such as malocclusion, also known as a bad bite, can inadvertently lead to cheek-biting. When our teeth don’t align properly, the inner cheek becomes more susceptible to getting caught between them, increasing the likelihood of accidental bites. If you suspect that misaligned teeth are contributing to your cheek-biting habit, consult your dentist in Eldersburg to help identify potential solutions.

Bruxism

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, often occurs during sleep but can also manifest as clenching and grinding during waking hours. These actions can inadvertently lead to cheek-biting, as the excessive force applied to the teeth and jaws can cause the cheeks to get caught in between. If you suspect you’re grinding your teeth, especially at night, consider using a mouthguard and exploring relaxation techniques to manage this habit.

Biting the inside of your cheeks might seem like a harmless quirk, but its underlying causes can be diverse and telling. Whether it’s a result of habit, stress, a bad bite, nutritional deficiencies, or bruxism, understanding why you engage in this behavior is crucial to finding ways to manage or overcome it.

Breaking the cycle of cheek-biting requires self-awareness, patience, and sometimes the guidance of professionals. Start by recognizing the triggers that lead to this habit and work on addressing them. Whether it’s through stress-reduction techniques, seeking advice from your dentist in Eldersburg, adjusting your diet, or exploring emotional outlets, you have the power to regain control over this seemingly involuntary action.