Dental Tips Blog


How to Stop Biting Your Lips, Cheeks, or Tongue

Lip, cheek, or tongue-biting is usually due to one of three causes:

  • Something in the mouth is causing irritation
  • Accidentally biting down while talking or eating
  • Nervous habit

Depending on your reasons, here are three ways to stop yourself from biting your lips, cheeks and tongue.

Irritation in the Mouth

The insides of cheeks and lips can develop scar tissue from being chafed by something like braces. A misaligned bite can cause teeth to press into the sides of the tongue. Such irritation may cause injuries that never seem to go away.

Talk with your dentist or orthodontist to see if treatment to align your bite will help you stop injuring yourself. Orthodontic wax and other devices can also spare your cheeks the irritation of metal braces.

Accidental Injury

An accidental bite can leave you with a painful, bleeding, swollen lump on your tongue, lip, or cheek. This can also be due to misaligned teeth.

Ice an injury as soon as it happens to bring down the swelling. This will relieve pain and minimize the chance of accidentally chomping on it again. Eat only soft foods for a couple days while it heals, and focus on chewing slowly.

Anxious Habit

Some people bite their cheeks without even realizing it. This habit is tough to break, but not impossible. When you have a numb mouth from getting dental work completed, be careful not to chew on your cheeks! It’s a common habit, especially for children.

Chronic biting will leave chronic sores, so it’s good to try to stop.

Identify triggers that make you nibble such as boredom or anxiety. Substitute another distracting activity like humming, knitting, or chewing sugar-free gum. Use flavored lip balm to keep your lips smooth to serve as a reminder if you accidentally start to chew on your lips.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57
th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377


How to Treat Tongue Burns

Consuming too-hot food or drink and burning your tongue in the process is something that virtually everyone has experienced at some time or the other. Aside from heat burns, chemical tongue burns can occur when smoking a cigarette or pipe, a condition known as “tongue bite”. On the other hand, conditions such as burning mouth syndrome and thrush, as well as B12 vitamin or iron deficiency, can produce the sensation of a burning tongue.

Tongue burns can interfere with indispensable activities like eating and talking. A burnt or burning tongue is especially annoying because unlike burning your skin, you can’t apply a band-aid. They also take longer to heal than skin burns. If you have burnt your tongue or are suffering from a burning tongue, here are some things you can do to lessen your discomfort and speed up your recovery.

1) Medication

Purchase an over-the-counter oral analgesic or anesthetic gel, such as Orajel or Anbesol, and apply to the affected area as directed. These gels not only reduce pain but usually contain menthol which triggers the tongue’s cold-receptors resulting in a cooling sensation. Recently, dissolvable medicated strips have been developed for the treatment of tongue burns. When applied to the tongue, the strips dissolve releasing benzocaine (an anesthetic) and a therapeutic polymer that helps burns to heal faster. A sensation of burning in the tongue resulting from causes other than a heat or chemical burn may need to be treated with prescription medication such as anticonvulsants, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, progesterone cream, or alpha lipoic acid.

2) Avoid irritants

If your tongue is burnt or burning, you will want to steer clear of certain foods that exacerbate the sensation and interfere with healing. These include hot caffeinated drinks, and acidic foods like citrus juices or fruit, vinegar, sodas and tomatoes. Also avoid tobacco and alcohol since these substances slow down the healing process. Instead, consume soothing, soft, cooling foods like cold water, yogurt, pudding, milkshakes, icecream, or suck on some ice chips.

3) See your dentist

If you have a heat burn blister on your tongue that does not respond to the above methods, or persistently experience the sensation of a burning tongue, it is recommended that you schedule a dental checkup. It is possible that a nutritional deficiency or some underlying oral pathology (e.g. nerve damage or even oral cancer) could be causing your symptoms. Your dentist will be able to help you determine the cause of your burning tongue and the appropriate course of treatment.

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