Biting Inside of Lip while Eating, Sleeping, Effects and How to Stop and Heal

Whether you engage in biting inside of lip simply because it feels good or as a result of something you can’t explain, the resulting sores are quite uncomfortable. We look at the causes of lip biting while eating or in sleep as well as how to stop it.

Biting Inside of Lips

Lumps, sores, swelling and pain are some of the most immediate inside of lip biting habit effects. However, these are not the only ones. This unimpressive behavior could cause quite some damage on your skin and it is best avoided.

According to Thomas P. Connelly, a NYC cosmetic dentist, as cited in the Huffington Post, some lip biting cases are accidental, others chronic and some physiological. Below are various causes of biting inside of lip.

Biting Inside of Lips Causes

Wondering why you keep biting the inside of your lips? Worry no more as this section has all the necessary details.

Inappropriate chewing

This kind of biting inside lip occurs when one is careless as they chew resulting in accidental bites. Mostly this will happen when one is eating or chewing on something and doing something else. One of these could be talking. To remedy this kind of accidental bites on the inside of the lips, try and pay more attention while chewing. 

Since this is bound to happen even to the best of us, biting inside of lip while chewing should be no cause for concern. It will heal with time.

Teeth Misalignment

Chronic biting inside of lip may be as a result of temporomandibular joint disorder. Permanent teeth may become misaligned when some are missing or when the alignment of false teeth is improper.
When the teeth are misaligned, they do not close together as they should. As a result, the brain may try to put something in between to correct the anomaly. This happens to be something inside the mouth and could as a result be the inside of lips. 

Due to these structural problems, the teeth may result in regular nips inside the mouth including biting inside of lip or cheek and on the tongue. In severe cases, misaligned teeth could result in dependency on biting inside the mouth lading to chronic inside lip biting.


Even in a perfectly structured mouth, it is still possible for a biting inside of lip to occur. This may be in cases of anxiety. A nervous person may pick an obsessive behavior which may be nail biting or in this case lip biting.

Biting Inside Of Lip While Eating

Why do we bite inside of lip while eating? Biting your lip while chewing is usually painful as the lips tend to suffer an equal, if not higher, intensity of trauma as that exerted on food.
While the once in a while biting inside of lip may only be accidental, regular bites may be a sign of dehydration.

During the chewing process, saliva is produced to naturally lubricate the mouth. This helps the teeth, which are constantly running against the cheeks, tongue and lips from causing any harm on them.
In case the mouth is dry or where lubrication gets exhausted while still eating, the resulting friction may see you biting on the inside of your lips. 

Biting inside of lip while eating can be curbed by avoiding foods that are too dry as well as drinking water before a meal. To prevent accidental bites inside of your lip, pay close attention to your meal, take smaller bites and slow down on the eating.

Biting Inside Of Mouth While Sleeping 

The positioning of your head as well as how you sleep have a great impact on what happens when you are asleep. According to the Regional Neurology and Sleep Medicine Institute, this can be painful but harmless or an important symptom depending on the underlying cause.
Some of the causes of biting inside of lip and mouth while sleeping include:
  • Tooth grinding
  • An extension of a nervous habit when awake
  • Damaged teeth with sharp edges
  • Sleep apnea where patients nip on their cheeks, tongue or lips while gasping to breathe
  • Sleep related seizures
If you are worried about the tendency, see your doctor.

I Keep Biting Inside Of Lip

There are different reasons why you keep biting inside of lip. These could be accidental and related to the mouth anatomy or behavioral. In most cases, behavioral problems leading to lip bites require professional help. Where the bites occur while eating, try and gain control over your chewing habits and learn to pay attention while eating to avoid biting your lips over and over.

Lip Biting Habit Effects

Biting inside of lips has mostly negative effects. Since the skin is being subjected to trauma, it often leaves mouth sores. While this may be bearable if it happens once in a while when you have an accidental nip, it is bearable.

This is not the case where the biting is an obsessive habit. Constant sores in the mouth are not only uncomfortable but painful too. 

Since the mouth is full of bacteria, in case there is a proliferation, it becomes easy for infections to grow on the sores. 

Inside of lip biting may also make consumption of food difficult as the area will hurt on the slightest brush with it.

How to Heal Mouth Sore from Biting Inside of Lip

If left to be, it is possible that the mouth sore forming after injuring your lip by biting it will heal on its own. However, a few interventions can help relieve the effects and hasten healing. These are listed below.
  1. Wash your mouth by swashing salty water after eating anything to keep the area clean. Using an antibacterial mouth wash is also recommended.
  2. To control bleeding immediately after biting on your lower lip, apply pressure on the area using your tongue.
  3. To alleviate pain, apply an ice pack at the point of injury.
  4. If the pain is overwhelming use pain relievers.
  5. In the next few days to come and as the sore heals, stay away from hot food to give time for the area to heal.

How to Stop Biting Inside of Lip

Although biting inside of lip is more of a bad habit and less of a health problem, the lesions that develop can get quite uncomfortable. Below is how to stop lip biting.

1. Identify the Triggers

If your lip biting emanates from stress and nervousness, it is important to identify what it is that is making you anxious. Once you have identified this, try doing fun activities to relax. Talking to a close friend or relative can also help in dealing with it.

Where the stress and anxiety are severe, you may want to seek the help of a behavioral specialist. These will help to sort out the state of your mental and emotional health and thus help in stopping you from biting inside of your lip.

2. Stay Active

Some people engage in the inside of lip biting habit as a result of boredom. Some people will realize that they engage in the habit when engaging in sedentary tasks such as watching television, checking on the phone or reading. If any of this kind of activities gets you biting your lip, you can try to engage in other activities while at it. 

These will help divert attention from your mouth as your brain will be engage elsewhere. Incorporate appropriate activities to go with less involving activities such as knitting, tapping your feet or doodling.  

2.Seek Help

Trying to change a bad habit can be hard when doing it alone. Try and involve your close friends and family in your bid to stop it. Ask them to call you out if they notice you biting your lips. Once they notice your determination, they will keep encouraging you and fuel your recovery.

3.Try Meditation

Most people find meditating to have a calming effect. Engaging in it can help alleviate negative habits emanating from nervousness. Try and engage in meditation to help you eliminate the biting inside lip habit and give way to healthier and smoother inner lips.

4. Professional Treatment

Where all else fails, you may want to get help from a professional. After evaluation, your doctor will be in a possible to direct you on whether you need a medical or behavioral specialist. 

Among some of the things that may be recommended is a mouth guard. This is especially essential in cases where biting inside of lip keeps occurring in sleep. Misaligned teeth may also have to be corrected.

List of References


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