At some point in our lives we’ve all experienced the pain of biting the inside of our cheeks and for many this is usually a simple case of being accidental. But if you are regularly biting your cheek then this might be a sign of something a lot more serious. In this blog, we’ll look at the reasons that you may be biting your cheek and the causes.
Just an accident
It’s not unusual to bite the inside of your cheek accidentally, especially if you are trying to eat too fast. This is often then made worse by doing it again as you catch the already swollen bit of your cheek more often. If this happens to you occasionally then it is nothing to worry about, and just involves being a little bit more careful when eating.
Depression, stress, or anxiety
Many people suffer from stress, depression, and anxiety. And, while grinding teeth and biting fingernails is a common habit that people fall into when stressed, biting your cheeks can also be a sign of stress. If you find yourself regularly biting your cheeks while feeling stressed or anxious then it might be time to seek help.
Wisdom teeth can also cause problems if there is not enough space for them to grow properly in your mouth. They can often become impacted or be deflected by other teeth which can cause them to lead to you biting your cheeks more frequently. It’s not just wisdom teeth that can cause this to happen as poorly crafted crowns and caps may also change your bite and cause you to bite your cheeks. Either way it’s worth booking an appointment with your dentist.
Chronic cheek biting
If you are always biting your cheeks then this may be the sign of something being wrong and could be the start of a psychological issue that causes compulsive behaviour. You may not be aware that you are doing this until you start to notice painful sores and tears which can lead you to avoid social activities for fear of feelings of guilt or shame.
When should you seek help for cheek biting?
For accidental cheek biting, generally treatment won’t be required as the mouth heals itself quite quickly and only slight discomfort will be experienced. If you experience more frequent cheek biting then it is worth booking an appointment with your dentist to see if the problem is caused by your teeth or something else. If the problem is tooth related then your dentist will be able to diagnose this and provide you with the most suitable treatment which may includes everything from braces to straighten your teeth to an extraction to remove tooth crowding.
If you suspect your cheek biting is related to stress, anxiety or depression you should book an appointment with your GP to help identify the root cause of the problem. Your GP may then refer you to a psychologist for follow up treatment.