Tongue biting also referred to as tongue chewing is a frequent phenomenon observed by dental practitioners. Tongue biting leads to damage to the lateral borders of the tongue (termed as morsicatio linguarum) or the buccal mucosa (referred to as morsicatio buccarum).
Occasionally, biting of the tongue may be accompanied with biting of the inner lip (referred to as morsicatio labiorum).
Tongue biting over extensive period of time can lead to difficulty in chewing and speech. As the skin thickens and enlarges, the individual may find it increasingly difficult to masticate or opening the mouth wide enough.
What Are The Causes Of Tongue Biting?
There are a host of reasons which can lead to tongue biting, some of the common causes include,
- Ulcers in the mouth formed due to Vitamin B12 deficiencies. As a result of this deficiency, the tongue becomes sensitive and more prone cuts and biting.
- Tongue biting is also common among individuals using dentures.
- Injury or trauma, especially among athletes is a common cause of tongue biting. Other disorders like eating disorders, bruxism, etc are associated causative factors.
- Stress continues to be a leading factor for intentional tongue biting. Tongue biting is often considered to be one of the detrimental ways in which people handle stress.
- Chewing of tobacco can lead to plaques in the oral cavity, which can also contribute to tongue biting. Excessive chewing of mint can be a factor that may contribute to occasional tongue biting.
Natural Ways To Stop Biting Your Tongue
The treatment or management of tongue biting usually depends upon the factor that contributes to the condition.
- Vitamin B12 supplements are considered to be potentially beneficial in dealing with apthae ulcers which can lead to tongue biting episodes.
- Using mouth guards can be beneficial for athletes who are prone to bite their teeth during sport related activities like jumping, running, etc. Mouth guard is also beneficial for patients with bruxism and eating disorders.
- Regular dental visits among younger children are essential to ensure correct alignment of the teeth. In older individuals, regular dental visits may be critical for ensuring adequate fitment of dentures.
- Management of stress becomes an important contributing factor to the management of this condition. Yoga, meditation, etc can contribute effectively to the treatment of tongue biting. Ensure that your diet is organic and healthy. Avoid smoking, chewing of tobacco or consumption of alcohol.
- St John Wort is an herb which is effective in the management of anxiety and stress. The consumption of this herb should be as per recommended dosage.
- Aromatherapy essential oils like lavender and chamomile also have a soothing effect on the mind. These essential oils can be applied on the forehead or can be vaporized using dispensers.
Tongue biting is a condition linked to anxiety and extreme stress and pin pointing the exact cause will be critical to ensure a lasting treatment. Such individuals often suffer from a high risk of developing dysplasia and carcinomas and hence a regular and constant evaluation with the dentist is essential.