How to Stop Biting Your Lips

It is common to see people biting their lips. Lip biting or licking is usually associated with either being nervous or concentrating on something. Sometimes, you may accidentally bite your lip after which you play with the sore spot using your teeth and tongue. These actions, if done repetitively, may cause injuries. Lip biting syndrome may lead to peeling, sore and dry lips. People suffering from this chronic syndrome may even injure their lips unknowingly.

How to Stop Biting Your Lips

1. Wear Unpleasant Lip Balm

It could help curb your lip biting problem. A medicated lip balm is even better as it will help block the sun or cure chapped lips. You can also try applying the lip stick or lip balm whenever you feel like biting your lip.

2. Be Active

Lip biting is sometimes caused by boredom. You most likely find yourself biting your lips when watching TV, checking your phone or reading a book. You realize that your body needs to be doing something when you are relaxing or involved in sedentary activities. You could address this by finding something to do such as doodling, tapping your foot or knitting or other things you like to do to distract yourself from lip biting.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Another tip on how to stop biting your lips is practicing a technique called mindfulness. This is simply being more aware of your anxiety symptoms. This technique pushes you to think about lip biting so that it ceases being a habit and becomes a choice. This in turn prevents you from doing it. The more you are consciously aware of your lip biting issue and avoid doing it, the more likely it will cease being a habit.

4. Identify the Trigger

In most cases, lip biting and other behavioral habits are a form of coping strategy for the body. Some people will shake their legs while others blink more often when they are nervous. Nevertheless, you should stop any bad behavior if possible. If you get used to such habits over a long time, they may be hard to break. Lip biting and other behavioral habits may also cause you pain and embarrassment.

  • Pay your doctor a visit

Are you wondering how to stop biting your lips? Visiting your doctor could help. The doctor will either help you identify the cause of your lip biting or refer you to a specialist. Severe biting and chewing that causes your lips and mouth to scar or bleed calls for medical attention.

Biting your lips is usually a symptom of anxiety. It can also be an indication of body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It can be a habit mostly common in young people. In that case, the habit will often disappear on its own after a few months. Your doctor can help you get rid of other causes in case they are there. You could also request your dentist for a mouth guard to help you with chewing, clenching and lip biting. The mouth guard is very helpful especially if you are used to biting at night, or when involved in sedentary activities like reading, studying, or watching television.

  • Get your teeth checked by a dentist

Lip biting is sometimes triggered by your mouth structure. If you have misaligned teeth, there is a possibility of your body trying to unconsciously realign them by placing your lip between your teeth. See your dentist if you have an overbite or any other form of misalignment that may be causing the biting. A dentist will easily decipher whether your lip biting habit is due to misalignment. You may have to get a retainer or braces to treat the problem. You should stop biting after your teeth are aligned.

  • See a therapist

Another tip on how to stop biting your lips is to see a therapist. Whether you bite your lips due to a severe compulsion or anxiety, therapy will work better than medication. A therapist will assist with reversing your habits. Ensure you are referred to a therapist experienced in treating anxiety and compulsions. Enquire about behavioral therapy with specific focus on the relationships between behaviors and thoughts. Joining support groups can also help.

5. Try Relaxation Techniques

  • Diaphragmatic breathing

This is a kind of breathing also known as deep breathing. Many people use it as a relaxation strategy to control their breath. It can be applied as a tip on how to stop biting your lips since it helps relieve stress.

  • Progressive muscle relaxation

It is recommended that you combine diaphragmatic breathing with progressive muscle relaxation. It involves draining energy from the muscles by tensing one muscle at a time. Once the muscles are tired, they lack energy required for anxiety symptoms and lead to a feeling of relaxation. You could start by tensing and relaxing toe muscles and progress slowly to the neck and head. Alternatively, you could start with your neck and head and progressively work your way down to the toes. Ensure you follow a pattern of tensing your muscles for at least 5 seconds and relaxing for 30 seconds repetitively.

6. Replace with Another Behavior

Another tip on how to stop biting your lips is by developing a competitive response behavior. For instance, you could rub your lips with your finger or tongue as way of preventing lip biting. This technique combined with cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques helps to treat severe compulsions. Seek advice from your therapist or doctor regarding your competing response technique since different moves work for different people.

Prevent Possible Injuries

  • Chew wisely

There is a possibility of accidentally biting yourself if you have a misaligned jaw or if you eat hurriedly. One accidental bite could lead to subsequent and more painful bites. In case you bite your cheek or lip accidentally, allow the wound time to heal. To help the swelling to go down, ensure you eat soft foods like applesauce, soup and yoghurt for a few days.

  • Ice your wounds

A lump is likely to form if you bite your lip or cheek accidentally. You may find yourself biting on the lump as it heals. It is advisable to ice the protrusion on and off until it subsides to prevent further bites. You could also put a piece of cloth in your mouth to prevent accidental biting during sedentary activities.

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