Some people think cheek biting is just a bad habit but still harmless. What if this “minor infraction “leads to something serious related to your health. It can be sign dental issues or of mental health condition similar to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder.

How to detect that you bite your cheeks? Check the inner side of your cheeks: do you find white scar lines, row sensitive mucosa?

  • Stress / anxiety. Chronic cheek biting and chewing — scientifically known as morsicatio buccarum — is considered to be a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) similar to hair pulling (trichotillomania).
  • Inactivity / boredom. Hard to believe but being bored can make you bite your cheeks
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Wrong bite
  • Missing teeth
  • Unfit denture
  • Teeth moving ( periodontal disease )
  • TMJ ( temporomandibular joint) disorder

Types of cheek biting:

  • Periodic accidental cheek biting :it is not a cause to be concern even if it results in canker sore
  • Regular accidental cheek biting : misaligned teeth or jaw condition could be the cause
  • Cheek biting while asleep : a night guard can fix this issue
  • BFRD: obsessive cheek biting that cannot be stopped despite attends.

Consequences if cheek biting is not fixed: this chronic habit can cause TMJ issues, headaches, teeth moving and oral cancer (because of continues cheeks trauma).

How to get rid of this habit: see a dentist first! If your dentist says that cheek biting is not related to dental issues than meditation, hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy and minimizing the stress levels can help.

Dr. Irina Bratu

General Dentist

Dr Irina qualified as a Dentist in Republic of Moldova at State University of Medicine “Nicolae Testemitanu”.She completed her extensive three years postgraduate program on Dental Therapy & one year advanced educational program on Implantology and Oral Rehabilitation at New York University College of Dentistry (USA). She is a member of Emirates Medical Association EMA, has a passion for the prevention of oral disease, and works to promote a healthy lifestyle for all of her patients.

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