Friday, April 18, 2014

Cheek Biting and TMJ

Cheek biting? Yes, there are many people who habitually bite the insides of their cheek. For some, this sounds strange. For others, they are nodding along wondering how they can stop this habit. Much like biting your nails, cheek biting can be a frequent habit.

People who bite their cheeks tend to bite the inside of their cheek, lip, and tongue. There are multiple reasons why people bite their cheeks, such as nervous habit, some need to constantly chew, and some people cheek bite due to TMJ.

How are cheek biting and TMJ related? Great question!

Many people are cheek biters because of malocclusion or misalignment of teeth. This can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD). These people tend to bite their cheeks occasionally due to their bite being slightly off. When someone has malocclusion their bite does not come together properly. Sometimes, they compensate by moving their mouth to the right or left. Typically, this movement is not recognizable to the untrained eye. However, their bite feels better when they can rest their teeth on something which is why they bite their cheeks and lips.

Although cheek biting can simply be a nervous habit it can also be a result or symptom of TMJ. Many people who bite their cheeks are self conscious of this habit because they contort their face to bite their cheeks. If you are a habitual cheek biter we suggest seeing a TMJ specialist to ensure that your cheek biting is not related to TMJ.

Dr. Farnad, the TMJ Doctor of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, will give you a comprehensive evaluation of your oral health and TMJ. He will examine your cheek biting, to ensure lesions have not developed. Occasionally, lesions can lead to oral cancer due to bacteria entering lesion sites.

If you bite your cheeks out of nervousness try chewing gum, wearing lip gloss or lip balm, and try to recognize when you most frequently bite your cheeks.

The TMJ Doctor, located in Beverly Hills, is a center for TMJ therapy and treatment. If you have questions about our office and Dr. Farnad, the TMJ Doctor, give us a call at (310)276-5300. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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