We've all experienced the sudden pain of biting the inside of our cheeks. Usually this is accidental and absolutely nothing to worry about. For some this could be a more regular occurrence and the sign of a more serious.
The reason why someone may bite the inside of their cheeks can vary drastically from person to person. A few of the more common causes are:
Just an accident
Often biting the cheeks is an annoying accident caused by a lack of concentration when chewing or when eating too fast. Whilst painful this generally isn’t something to worry yourself about.
Depression, stress, or anxiety
Similar to biting fingernails or grinding teeth, some will bite their cheeks as a reaction to feeling stressed or anxious.
Often wisdom teeth being deflected toward the cheek can cause you to bite your cheeks often. A poorly constructed crown can also be the culprit for this.
Chronic cheek biting
This is a psychological issue (known as morsicatio buccarum) and is a compulsive behaviour that repeatedly causes someone to bite the inside of their cheek. In some cases, this is a repetitive behaviour (BFRB) and a person may not even realise they’re doing this.
This can potentially cause painful sores and tears. With BFRB-related cheek biting, a person may avoid social activity due to guilt or shame related to the condition in the hope no one will notice.
At what point should a person seek treatment 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.
For more regular cheek biting, you may want to discuss this with Paramount Dental Sydney as the issue could potentially have something to do with your teeth but a consultation would be required to diagnose properly and treatment may range anywhere from braces to tooth extraction to properly align your teeth.
If you suspect your cheek biting is related to BFRD, stress/anxiety or depression it may be worthwhile discussing this with your GP or even psychologist if you’re already seeing one. Simple treatment may be the key to eliminating the pain and frustration of cheek biting.(05/21/2023)