Lip biting with anxiety is a fairly common symptom that people experience, but some are completely unaware of. Lip biting can cause; chapped lips, dental malformations and ulcers inside the mouth. Let’s see how to manage anxiety and stop lip biting for good.
When you have anxiety, but not a full-blown anxiety or panic attack you may develop behaviors to help the anxiety manifest itself. Some people pick at their skin; some tap their fingers or toes or chew on things. Lip biting is another manifestation of anxiety that is being held in. This condition can cause problems in the mouth area. If you are unaware that you bite or chew on your lips, then you need to raise the awareness and do something to curb the habit.
Lip biting can be classified as a type of nervous tic. A disorder that occurs when something makes you nervous and the body uses some type of protective measure like a tic, twitch or habit to soothe the nerves. Researchers also state that this could be a sign of brain over activity. There is no actual treatment available for nervous tics, but behavior modification can be very helpful in controlling the episodes.
First, you need to make yourself aware that you are biting your lip. When you do catch yourself in a lip biting episode, focus on what is making you nervous. Then stop biting your lip and grab something to put in your mouth. A hard candy, sucker/lollipop or chew some gum. The important thing is to not chew on the hard candy, just suck on it. Chewing it will only keep you anxious and defeat the soothing purpose. The dentist can also provide a special lip bumper to prevent lip biting if the condition is severe.
Second, you need to address the anxiety in detail. Think about what is making you nervous and find healthy ways to deal with the anxiety. When you catch yourself biting on your lip, stop the behavior and change what you are doing. You might try pulling out a journal and writing about how you feel at the time. Talk to a trusted friend. You can even record your thoughts and feelings on tape.
Lastly, practice anxiety reduction techniques even if you don’t feel the anxiety outwardly. Do deep breathing exercises, visual imagery and relaxation techniques. It is also highly recommended to combine cognitive behavioral therapy with the use of a lip bumper or oral aversion like hard candy.
Once the root of anxiety is discovered and dealt with, lip biting usually goes away pretty easily. You just need to be aware that you are doing this and use aversion techniques to stop yourself from doing it. This will help to avoid complications like dental or ulcers in the mouth and keep you smiling.