ANSWERS: 60
  • This is like one of those "bad habit" type questions, right? As opposed to how to stop accidentally doing it. If it's something you do out of habit, I don't see what is wrong with that unless you are causing the inside of your mouth to blister or bleed and whatnot. I would keep a pack of chewing gum handy, that should do the trick.
    • Boola Boo
      Constant rubbing in the mouth can cause mouth cancer. Gum is a great idea.
  • one way is to start chewing gum instead.
  • You might want to talk to your dentist about this if it is being done accidentally because it may have something to do with your teeth alignment.
  • Have your teeth removed
  • I do this too sometimes, and get small cuts, which become raised white areas, and then black, when they fill with blood. It doesn't happen often, and I think it may be triggered by stress. It could also be caused by alignment issues if it happens more frequently. I would think that you could ask your dentist. But for now, try getting more sleep, relaxing, etc. to reduce stress levels, and see if that helps.
  • Hold your teeth down
  • chew on gum it helped me
  • im honestly doing it while I type. I have done it for about 17 years. mine have never turned black though... I simply chew the top layer of my cheek. Gum does help, but theres only soo much gum in the world. I've found that when I catch my self, brushing my teeths tends to help as well.
  • i hate doing it, but to me it is addicting... i dont know what to do because its getting to the point were the inside of my mouth bleeds, but i love to chew on the skin... am i just a big weirdo or is there more people like this? i need so help here!
  • I think perhaps if you do it once accidentally, while you're eating something, for example, the area swells up, making it more likely that you'll bite it again. I think perhaps become more aware of your teeth, when you're chewing. If it's a habit, I'm not sure - sorry!
  • Do you have any other habits that might indicate anxiety disorder? I used to do this, and noticed that when I started medication for anxiety, I just didn't have the urge anymore. (I remember it was cool to hear the sound, too - I can't say that's not weird, but it is soemthing I can relate to!)
  • I have been biting the inides of my mouth for years. There are a few thing that helped me, but i still do it. I believe it is caused by stress and anxiety. I recently developed a mucocelce (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucocele) because of it. i have also developed blood blister (though that is from the accidental biting) Most of my problems are with the intentional (subconcious) chewing and tearing of the skin on my cheeks. i have developed distinct scar lines inside my mouth. II sometimes use a night guard to keep me from clenching and chewing while i sleep, but this is not practical during the day. One alternative (thought it doesnt' solve the root of the problem ) is to bite the skin on your knuckles. The skin is much tougher here and can resist cracking, peeling, and wont cause other problems like the inisde of your mouth can. Often i will clench my teeth on my knuckle to relevie tension in my jaw, undoubtedly built up due to stress. i should probably just look into getting some anxiety medication for it.. or some therapy..
  • I do it too. I've done it for as long as I can remember. There are times where it's just a few little bites and then others where I rip off a huge chunk of skin and it bleeds terribly. Some times the day after I've bitten it raw, I'll wake up the next morning and literally "scratch" all the new skin that's "grown" overnight off with my nails and then start biting again. I suppose I can try the gum thing. You're not alone and I feel your pain . . . literally.
  • When cheek biting gets to a point at which you begin to develop lesions on your cheek, the condition is clinically known as "moriscato buccarum". Once you start removing tissue from buccal (inner) surface of your cheek, you may need to see a dentist to have him evaluate the area. Depending on the status of your cheeks, you may need to have some soft tissue removed to stop the current damage from getting worse. There are many causes of this, but it is usually due to some form of bruxing (jaw clenching) that is most likely done at night. You may need to have your dentist make an acrylic night guard to prevent this from happening again.
  • The antidepressant medication i use to take listed cheek biting as a sideeffect. It made me accidentally bite my cheek . It would happen quite often, i hated it. When i got off of the medication the cheek biting stopped.
  • I like the way the skin sticks to my teeth as I try reopening my mouth again. The more skin the better. It's like this subconscious game I play with myself. I never set out to 'do' it on purpose. It just sort of happens. I hadn't done this for years until a couple of months ago so I know it's anxiety related.
  • I read somewhere that it gives you oral cancer because you keep messing up the cells when they're trying to regenerate. I asked my dentist and he said that yes you could get oral cancer from doing this. I picked it up as a habit once and figured it would go away as easy as it came but that was 8 years ago and still here :( I've tried gum and relaxation techniques but nothing has worked. I know for sure a behavior analysis therapy would work but cant afford that. I've made myself bleed before a whole bunch. And it gets worse with anxiety and boredom. But dont give up...its a bad habit to have. It also can give you chronic bad breath and eventually change the way your face looks.
  • I have the same problem i chew gum or eat hard candy...you should try it, it has helped me in breaking my habit.
  • I've bitten the inside of my mouth for my entire life. When I was a child my sister told me that it could cause cancer so I stopped for 5 years. Then for fun one day I started doing it again and now I can't stop. I am addicted to the "sound" and the gross sticky thing that happens when you get a piece and trap it between your teeth. The only negative I've encountered is the look I get from strangers when I'm doing it w/o realizing and my mouth is all twisted to the side of my face because I'm trying to get a good piece of cheek to bite. Like with any habit, you just have to be fully aware of what your doing 100 percent of the time, and stop yourself. That's what I did. If you chew gum or eat candy you're just going to go from one addiction to the next. I could stop now, I just don't want to. mmmmm....
  • Weird, I bite the insides of my cheek and recently I've migrated to biting the skin behind my lips. I don't think I'm overly stressed or anxious, it's just that I feel that the skin should be completely smooth and I bite off any "imperfections" but end up making more and it's a revolving door!
  • I do the same thing...
  • I dont know what to do anymore. i've tried everything stated on this site for years. It's getting worse. I'm about to flip. My head hurts from thinking about it. Pete.
  • This may be a sign of poor teeth alignment - see a dentist. Alternatively, this may be a sign of obsessive compulsive behavior. See a psychiatrist or cognitive therapist to learn an effective means of breaking this habit.
  • I remember doing that at home growing up. It made my stepfather so angry because he interpreted it as a type of smirk. I suppose it was, because I did it when I wasn't allowed to talk back or say anything in my defense.
  • I have done this for my entire life. Nothing helps! If I put gum in my mouth I'll realize after a few minutes that I've pushes the gum to the side of mouth and am chewing on my tongue or cheek. I wake up and I can't even feel the tip of my tongue because I bit it so much at night. I won't notice I'm doing it until I taste blood. The dentist has urged me to stop telling me that constant trauma can cause cancer. I STILL can't stop! If anyone else has any other suggestions, please let me know!
  • Nothing. I have a friend who has done it since she was c kid and she created a huge bubble on the inside of her lip. She had to get it surgically removed. AS soon as it healed she started doing it again.
  • Wow I have never heard of anyone else doing this until I found this thread! How weird. I have been biting my cheeks for a long time, it started when I had braces as a kid and the braces tore up the insides of my cheeks leaving the swolen "meat" there to be bitten off once the braces were off. I had heard it caused cancer too, and was really worried because I smoked, so I quit smoking because I knew that I couldn't quit biting. Chewing gum helps a lot. I have also heard its anxiety, which I can agree with. The only thing is, I am wondering if there is anything I can use to heal up the sore spots from where I have bitten off more than I can chew (lol). Does anyone have any recommendations? Hannah
  • i do feel this is an anxiety issue (i started doing it many years ago, unthinkingly) light chewing only. no blood. i rotate around my mouth when it hurts. i actually see people on television do it, too. it looks horrible. if you aren't the type to get your teeth properly checked out, i'd recommend doing so. i told my dentist that i felt like i chewed because my gums felt 'itchy' and it turns out i had early stages of peridontal disease (bacteria below the gumline). when i got my teeth cleaned, i noticed i chewed less. so it feels like our body wants to fix itself (eat the bad) but the chewing is ineffective as a method. just my opinion obviously. i smoke, and have always tended to chew on straws, pens, assorted objects, which makes me think its an oral fixation. i'm ging to keep looking, lol. good luck to all of us.
  • Nail biting is one of a category of obsessive-compulsive disorders known as Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors that is gaining more scientific attention. Others include hair pulling, skin picking or incessantly biting the inside of the cheek. http://www.therapistlocator.net/families/Consumer_Updates/Body-focusedRepetitiveDisorders.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habit_reversal_training
  • I've been a vitim of this habit as well, you wont be able to stop until you put it in your head that it isn't beneficial to be doing it (not for your skin especially). Go buy those big value sugar free gum packs (comes with 6 or 7 of them) which will keep your mouth busy while in the process of allowing your cheek skin to grow back. I also suffer from anxiety, and know from experience that cheek chewing is only a temporary fix, so go to a doctor for proper medication.
  • I currently am looking for a way to stop biting the inside of my cheek. I've probably done it for close to 20 years. I do make it bleed sometimes. The one thing I know is that an x-ray from 15 years ago compared to one recently shows that because of the biting my jaw bone where my teeth connect to bone is noticebly less.
  • Oh...Geeze! I have literally done this my whole life. It is probably on eof my worst habits (Even worse than smoking!!) I make this distorted face and I have it down to a science! I use my fingers as well to literally push my cheek towards my teeth so I can get the "perfect" spot to chew and bite on. I usually do it when I am nervous or anzious. And have never really found anything that help to stop. As I have gotten older, my fiance' say I chew in my sleep and when I wake up, I literally have skin all along my gumline and in the corners of my mouth (pretty gross). I am not a fan of taking meds or anything, so any suggestions other than meds, gum, and candy would be great!
  • Been looking for a solution to this for a while now as it has started to cause wrinkles on my face, and sunken cheeks.. Here's what I've compiled from multiple sources and personal experience in the past 2 years or so.. Step 1. Monitor the problem. I found I usually have no desire to when I wake up in the morning and throughout the afternoon, but everyday around one o'clock I start biting a little, then by 4 o'clock I'm in full swing and gnawing away, even using my fingers to push my cheeks inward. But then mysteriously around 7pm, I stop and I'm good for the rest of the night... By knowing when you are most likely to start gnawing, this will give you insight into what is causing the problem... for me anyway, it was because I was dehydrated and I wasn't eating properly unless I was at home.. which is why, I started chewing my cheeks around midday when i would skip lunch and get hungry(and even still if i wasn't hungry!), and wouldn't stop until i got home and had dinner. I was snacking, but snacking doesn't have the vitamins, enzymes and minerals your body needs to stave off the angst and fatigue that often causes cheek biting. Bring some apples to work, and some leafy greens. Carbohydrates are lovely and I eat 12 servings of them everyday, but when you start biting your cheeks - especially if you're not hungry, this means your body is satisfied on calories but missing enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. I saw someone in a recent post here mention chromium tablets as a solution to cheek biting. Chromium in the body is specifically responsible for maintain normal blood sugar and insulin levels... SO, go ahead and eat that bagel, but pack some spinach, and roast beef on there too. And if you don't like roast beef or don't want to buy a 8 pound canister of Kirkland multi-vitamins you'll never use, get those tangy little Emergen-C vitamin pouches.. The point is.. pick what works for you, but at least you'll be picking something.. Step 2. Be mindful. Eating right, taking vitamins, and hydrating are not enough either, you need to be mindful of the problem (i.e. - wearing a band around your wrist and switching it every time you start biting) Cheek biting is NOT your everyday bad habit.. because unlike nail biting, your inner cheeks are far more accessible to your teeth than you fingers are. Wearing a pair of gloves or sitting on your hands is a great way to stop nail biting, this is obviously not the case with cheek biting. Being mindful of the problem is half the battle. Step 3. Ween yourself. If you're reading this, this habit is most likely something that you've been harboring for years. You have to understand that your brained is programmed to start biting automatically, whenever the urge becomes prevalent enough and it won't give up that habit easily. Remember that the less you bite your cheeks, the less you'll want to. By now, there are a lot of fissures and crevices, and stands of skin floating around in your mouth that will take time to heal, and you'll still bite a little instinctively, but over the course of many weeks and months, if you do all these things, you'll bite less and less each day, and be able to stop altogether. Hope this helps.
  • I have also been biting inside my cheeks for years and I have 'ridges' along both sides of my inner cheek.Also now I find that I am biting the side of my tongue at night too! I know it is anxiety issue but how do I stop myself at night? Last year my dentist sent me to a specialist because he said that he saw a little white dot on one of the lumpy areas and I had to have a biopsy for cancer. Luckily it was Ok but now I really want to stop!
  • It is sooo nice to know I'm not the only one who chews their mouth and pulls at their nail skin (I keep bandaids by my bed so in the morning they look somewhat better). I completely relate to the sticky feel in the teeth. I heard it could cause cancer too, but I'm still doing it. I stopped for awhile, I think when you quit for awhile and everything's "smooth" there's no desire to smooth things out. I just have to get to that point again...
  • I believe it is an anxiety issue. I used to do this when I was in high school and stressing about the usual teenage things. A few years later, when I was happily working and in love and my life seemed on track I realised I was no longer doing this. I have done it intermittently over the years when I have been stessed. Recently I have had some major issues that I am trying to deal with and I also became aware that about 2-3 months ago I started doing this yet again. I know of a couple of other people that have done this their entire lives and looking at the amount of stress they are dealing with it doesn't surprise me that they have been unable to stop. So it seems to me....look at the bigger picture...What is it that you are worried about? Deal with it. Relax and things should hopefully settle down. Works for me anyway :)
  • i did this as a child and got ulcers. i just grew out of it.
  • I had a friend that done that because of a nervous condition. Do you find that you do it only when you are anxious about something? If so...then stop with the cocaine and Mt. Dew, if not go see a doctor.
  • I bite my lips, is that close enough? I have been stopping because it hurts now! :P
  • You might find some useful info here... http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/78374
  • A dentist I saw years ago told me that biting the inside of your cheeks can cause cancer. Basically, reinjuring the same area again and again gives those cells more and more opportunities to kick out a bad copy of the cell. Thinking about getting cancer every time I did it broke the habit almost instantly.
  • I constantly bite my cheeks and lips. I've tried to notice when i'm doing it and stop. But it has never gotten better. Recently i found a tongue scraper and bought it and i scrap my cheeks. I notice that it cuts down the biting because it takes off the dead skin. Also brushing your teeth more often helps. Gum for me does not work, i always catch myself pushing my gum to the side and i start chewing my cheek again. Other than the tongue scraper, i need another way to help me stop chewing. I really hate this habit and i will do anything to stop it.
  • i've been doing this since i can remember and i dislike it b/c it makes the inside of my mouth sore and it feels all rough and stuff. but i like it b/c it gives me something to do when i'm bored. it is like a game as Kay La La stated. most of the time i don't even realize i'm doing it until someone sees me looking all funny b/c i'm trien to get to the smooth cheek tissue farther back.haha it's funny but slightly annoying as well. i'm takin psyhcology in high school and we were talking about different mental disorders. well one was called Pica, it's where you eat these obscene things. a form of pica is self-cannibalism and chewing on the inside of your cheek is one of the main things. so that's just an intersting fact to through out there for those of you interested.
  • Well I had this habit for the last 16 years of my life. Now I started seeing the wrinkles caused from that habit on my face exactly around the area that I attack most, close to my lips! It is a bad habit I tried to stop many time. I used techniques such as being mindful, try to meditate and stuff like that! that worked for sometimes but did not end the problem. I saw how people look to me when I am doing that, it affects the personality! I really want to forget that habit forever. I just got a product that is used to protect the teeth at night (comfort Protection) now when I notice myself doing that I have it close to me and I place it into my upper teeth so the biting become impossible.It can be bought from any store. You can ask your dentist about they can create one customized to your mouth. I got the one that I can shape with hot water and then use it for sometime. I hope that this will help me. I tried the candy stuff, that did not help.
  • The best way I've found to deal with things like this:
  • ugh!! i hate that!! i do it almost everyday at random times, not even necessarily when i'm anxious or bored or anything... i bite my lower lip until it bleeds and then i suck the blood out. most of the time it gives me a headache because of how hard i press my teeth together to detach the skin... yuck!
  • I just started biting the inside of my bottom lip about a month ago....I do it at night when I am watching TV.....I don't do it during the day....I am 58 & don't understand this nasty habit....could it be related to a pain/pleasure issue? I have never had OCD
  • This habit persist for those who have ulcerative colitis. CHEEK cell peeling indicate inflammation in abdomen.chronic ameobiasis and worms infection are indicated by this syptom.SO by and large if you disturbance in digestive system tendency to keep biting the cheek on teeth grinding become a habit. to stop it take care of your belly.it will take care of its front fort gate(mouth)
  • OMG! I'm not the only one! I have done this my whole life! My fater would yell at me, when he would see me do this... I haven't been able to stop... I bit off the top layer of skin, but sometimes I just bit and chew so hard I make myself bleed. And it will be tender for days. I just cant stop. When I was younger I would bit large areas and suck the blood until it would clot in my mouth, which I think about now and I was a strange kid. I tried everything from anxity meds to hypnosis but nothing works its just a habit. I do it everyday... Its scary because I have been told it can lead to oral cancer! Hope there wrong because I just cant stop!
  • 15 years and counting... I've been able to quit here and there for months on end, but the habit inevitably returns. My concerns - repeatedly tearing up the skin probably does raise the risk of oral cancer (and) chronic low-grade inflammation in the mouth has to be similar to poor gum health, which is increasingly implicated as a factor in heart disease. Great stuff, huh? As far as quitting goes: gum can help, as does anything that throws off the daily biting cycle, such as a hangover or exercise... anything that distracts you or makes it too difficult to bite (say, jogging). If you're a caffeine addict, cutting the coffee should help a lot. If you can manage to go without biting for 48 hours, most of the wounds will have healed over, making it more painful and less easy to start again. Good luck!
  • Wow!!! It really is amazing how many people do this. I too am a cheek biter and find it really gross. Not only does the blood stain out teeth, but it makes our breath stink. UGH!! Im 99% sure that its an anxious habit. Infact when i was on anti-anxiety meds, i didnt bite my cheek at all!! Im 26 years old now and have been a cheek biter for many many years to the point that im pretty sure my jaw is ruined. My jaw is constantly in pain and tense and i cant't open my mouth real wide. And sometimes it feels like i can feel my jaw bones rubbing together. This is such a horrible habit to have and i sympathize with all of you. My suggestion is try to find a way to deal with your anxiety weather it be meds or yoga. Good Luck to you all!!!! Thanks for listening.
  • I've been doing this for over 20 years... I gargle Hydrogen Peroxide and it speeds up the healing process, plus my teeth are super white. Also, I can control doing this when I use a custom made night guard, but I've lost a few of them and they aren't cheap. I know that is an anxious habit that I developed the first time I felt powerless and defeated. The habit and the feeling of not being able to stop itself makes me anxious so I bite more. Good luck everyone...
  • i do it when i am concentrating or when i am nervous..just like biting my nails. if it really was bad for you, i'm sure my dentist would have told me. A lot of people do it. Some worse than others, but i think my problem is because OCD/nervous habit.
  • My teeth just occasionally catch my cheek and bite it when I'm eating. So far, one thing that I know that has helped is to keep my top and bottom molar teeth touching all the time. But that remedial measure can make my jaws sore. The rational behind that technique is that it keeps the cheek tissue from getting stretched and flappy. I'm thinking about asking the dentist to bevel the outside edges of my molars in the hope of preventing them from being able to snag onto the cheek as easily. Another tactic that helps is to avoid constant pressure on the cheek, like from propping up my head on my hand at that location or resting my head on it while sleeping.
  • I remove the skin on the inside of my mouth and cheeks, but always with my hand! And you guys thought YOU looked like freaks?? I twist and pull my lips to get to the spots i want, all inside my mouth and cheeks. I do it almost non -stop until the inside is all raw and torn and bloody. I look at it in the mirror to check how terrible it looks. I use my knuckle as well to rip the skin off with my teeth. I have been doing this for 20 years now. I want to stop for all the reasons mentioned: its terribly painful, i look like a monky or freak, its embaressing, family members always tell me "stop doing that!" especially my mom, who said that it will cause oral cancer. Plus, how will i ever find a guy if i do this?? Please, i need help!! Share with me how i can stop!!
  • Start using bubble gum.
  • 3-15-2017 That is reported to be a deficiency of B vitamins. The reference I saw was in 1959 and I have not seen any mention since then, but it's cheap and easy to test: get B-100 and see what happens. Vitamin B2 is a water soluble dye that turns urine bright yellow. When the color fades, it's time for another dose. Read some books about nutrition so you know how to eat right. I have found that B2 is best taken in small doses every hour or so, so I cut pills into four pieces to make them last longer.
  • Start using chewing gum(Bubble Gum).
  • I have a bad habit as well. It is one of the things I'm trying to change about myself right now. Keep reminding yourself to stop.
  • It's a bad habit. Try chewing gum.

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