Why Do I Bite My Lips? Can I Stop This Habit?

It’s common for people to bite their lips when they are feeling worried or anxious. However, for some people, lip biting is a habit that affects their daily life. Sometimes, physical conditions such as teeth alignment problems and temporomandibular disorder can lead a person to bite their lips.

Other times, however, lip biting may be the result of psychological causes such as a body focused repetitive behavior or BFRB. Other examples of BFRBs include hair pulling, skin picking, and nail biting. Lip biting is considered a compulsive behavior that often leads to symptoms such as painful sores on the lips, inflammation, and lip redness. In many cases, a person may not realize they are biting their lips until they notice damage to them.

The ideal treatment for lip biting depends on its cause. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing certain behaviors by determining their causes may be an option. This type of therapy also teaches a person skills that can help them alter their thoughts and behavior in the future. Another treatment may be habit reversal training, which involves performing awareness training, creating a competing response, and providing social support.

Dialectical behavioral therapy may help as well. It places significant emphasis on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. While therapies are typically preferred, there are some medications like antidepressant or anti-obsessive medications that may help.

Contact River Run Dental

If you’re concerned about lip biting and searching for the right treatment, our dental team will be happy to help you out. Call us at (804) 262-1060.