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Why Do People Bite Their Lips?

Have you ever bitten your lip or cheek while chewing something or while reacting towards emotions? If you have, then you know how that can be painful.

Many people often do this even without their knowledge but even if they are aware, they usually cannot find out main reason why they do this. We have been researching about this phenomenon and finally we came up with something credible you should explore to understand lip-biting habit.

Here are the lip biting causes, symptoms and lip biting habit treatment. Note that not all lip biting are habitual cause, others are due to other reasons.

Lip Biting Causes, Anxiety, Trauma, Kissing, Symptoms and How to Stop Lip Biting
Lip Biting injury


When it comes to lip biting, causes, there are both the accidental and involuntarily phenomenon as well as other causes we are going to discuss more about.

Lip biting is a phenomenon that is a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) majorly caused by disorder of nervous system more specifically due to electrolyte deficiency.

According Totrivisonno.com, “your nervous system needs sodium, potassium, and calcium to work properly”. So it is absolutely true that imbalance in the level of minerals in the body can lead to your body sending wrong signals to the muscles hence leading to this impulsive control behaviors. Another case could be that all the signals are not reaching the muscles. These two conditions can also occur at the same time.

In some cases, lip chewing or biting can be accidental, as many people usually perceive it. This is usually due to physical or external reasons.

By the way, what makes women to bite their lips while they seduce men if they do not do it intentionally? You will see them roll their eyes seductively and then bite their lower lips. Well, men too are not excluded in this-they also do it during seduction.  I have also heard of a person biting lip during sleep and I was just get amazed. You may now wonder what actually causes lip biting. Here are the possible causes:

1)      Stress and anxiety

Lip biting is explained by medical practitioners to be a sign of anxiety. But this is not all. Lip chewing habit usually occur alongside other symptoms. It should be clear that this is in many cases triggered by nervous habits. Therefore sometimes when you become anxious, you brain may want you to bit your lip to provide some copping strategies to the anxiety or stress. In cases of anxiety or stress, you may not be aware that you are doing it.

2)      Teeth misalignment

Tooth misalignments is another disorder that can lead to lip chewing. This normally happens when you chew something. If such problems are not addressed at tender age, you many end up having long-term lip biting problems. Currently a study is going on by orthodontics in order correct such disorders.

3)      Biting dry peeling lips

Having a dry lip is also another problem that could result to bit lip. When you develop a dry lips, it will afterwards tend to peel. Therefore you may sometimes feel the urge to cut the peeling skin on your lips using your teeth. This could be very dreadful! During the process you can seriously bite your lips or wrongly peel a fresh flesh leading to severe bleeding. Moisturizing your lips can really help.

4)      Seductive lip biting

Sometimes during seduction, one may choose to bite his/her to appear physically very sexy and this is   more of physical behavior than nervous disorder. Get this clear, have you met a friend who refers to some articles, books or friends before they could go out seducing women or men?

Ok, here is what happens; they are taught how to behave sexy during seduction process. So tell me, if a friend tells you to go and bit your lip during seduction, is it a nervous disorder? Of course it is not. This is one of the reasons behind a woman may biting her lip.

5)      Kissing biting lip

Well, bit lip can sometimes cause pleasure or relief to a person. So activities such as kissing are also listed among the causes of bit lip. During sexual intercourse, partners can bite their lips while kissing.

During such occasions, the partners may not even feel the pain at that time because the body may be not be sending signals to the muscles due to the emotions at hand. Just remember even kissing is somewhat nervous controlled habit.

6)      Side effect of certain medications

Doctors claim some medications that can trigger some side effects including bit lip. This occurs when there is hormonal imbalance in the body leading nervous disorders. Hormonal imbalance may be due to lack of essential mineral in the body or otherwise.

7)      Physical mouth Trauma

Sometimes it is also possible to bit accidentally your lower lips or upper lips when you fell down or when you engage in physical fight with other people. Such bit lip are always accompanied with intense bleeding and one can really lose a lot of blood. Normally women are known to bite each other’s lips or nose when they fight.

There are also other factors that can lead to body mineral imbalance or nervous disorder that can triggers lip biting. They include:

  • Dehydration caused by drinking alcohol or coffee
  • Having diet that is too acidic
  • Taking extra mineral supplement


Before we dig deeper into lip biting, I want you to understand that those usually with lip biting problem may damage on lower lip that upper lip. So lip biting can have, lead to or trigger symptoms that could be mild or serious based on the causes. So here are the common symptoms.

  • Peeling lip due to dryness
  • Lip soreness (usually white sore bump on lower lip)
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring due to recurrent biting
  • Pain on the affected lip
  • Swelling and tenderness on the affected lips
  • One may feel pain as he/she talks
  • Bit lip blister

Lip biting habit can be accompanied by certain symptoms especially if a wound results. In fact, if the open wound in the sore lips are not well taken care of, they may become infected.

One may also experience a pain during eating after chronic lip biting. According Dr. Connelly, top New York-Based dentist, “an open lesion will burn when you eat acidic, salty, or spicy foods, making daily munching a painful experience

Again, lip biting that involve open wound may lead to the spread of HIV/AIDs and other STIs when one partners is affected during oral sex. So you must be keen when kissing to avoid the dreadful infections.

Finally, continuous pressure applied on the lips can also lead to pressure on the muscles of your face and may lead to pain near your ear area.

How to stop  or fighting lip chewing

Controlling lip biting or bit lip treatment is always challenging especially those triggered nervous disorder or anxiety. But still, there are some remedies that can be employed to stop lip biting. Here are the remedies:

1. Recognize Your Triggers

Lip biting habit is a condition that have causes varying for different people. Trying to find out the factors that drives you to bite your lip is very important. Remember it can be easy to prevent or avoid biting our lips if you know the possible triggers.

Therefore, each time you find yourself biting your lips, try to write a note and identify the possible cause. This will help you to define when this problem is likely to occur in future and you can easily find lip biting habit solution.

2. Consult your medical professional

If you feel you cannot run away from this problem, please consult your dentist or psychiatrist over the same. He/she may recommend soft splints to place on the teeth when you are about to go to sleep. Use of splints is effective measure that can perfectly help to prevent further damage on your lips.

3. Practice how to manage stress and anxiety

During time of stress and anxiety, it is recommended that you have diaphragmatic or deep breathing. This should be done alongside progressive muscle relaxation. This will make sure that the muscles lack enough energy to trigger anxiety symptoms.

4. Develop competing response

Competing response simply mean a behavior that will make compete with your lip biting. This can include rubbing your lips using your tongue or chewing gums instead of your lips. Actually the deal here is to get alternative activity that you can do to keep you mindless of biting your lips.

5. Apply lip moisturizer

Make sure you always moisturize you lip to prevent your lips from getting dry. It should be noted that lip dryness leads to peeling lip that could develop the urge to bite the peeling skin off the lip.

6. Hypnotherapy

This is another remedy which doctors recommend that can help to stop biting. You can try it but if it is not effective for your case, then you can find alternative or see your doctor.

Generally, lip biting is always not serious but this will also depend with causes. Although it may bring temporary pleasure to some, you will eventually feel the pain. Therefore, when the symptoms are beyond your control e.g. you experience pain while eating, difficulties when talking etc., seek for assistance.

Our List of Reference
  1. Why Do People Bite Lips When They’re Anxious: http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/lip-biting
  2. Lip Biting – Anxiety Disorder: http://healthosphere.com/lip-biting-symptoms-causes-treatment/
  3. 7 Ways To Stop Biting Your Lips, Because It’s Not A Good Habit: https://www.bustle.com/articles/98188-7-ways-to-stop-biting-your-lips-because-its-not-a-good-habit
  4. Stop lip biting even when you don’t know you’re doing it: http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com/bad-habits/lip-biting
  5. 10 nervous habits that hurt your health: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/05/31/10-nervous-habits-that-hurt-your-health.html
  6. How to Stop Lip Biting: http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/how-to-stop-lip-biting/

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