We recommend that if you or your child have a habit of biting your lips often, the best first course of action is to see a dental professional about it! We believe that knowledge is power, and taking this initial step of having an honest conversation with your dentist can put your mind at ease. Many lip-biting treatments are available, but the first step is discussing it with your dental professional and figuring out the root cause.
If your dental professional suspects a TMJ disorder is to blame, they may suggest home remedies such as massaging the jaw muscles or limiting your diet to soft foods. If necessary, they may prescribe medications to help ease pain and inflammation in the jaw joint. Your dental professional may even recommend a nightguard or splint, which is a clear plastic device that fits over your teeth to help your jaw muscles relax. They may even refer you to other medical specialists, such as physiotherapists or oral surgeons, if your TMJ disorder is severe.
In some cases, you may need orthodontic treatment to correct your malocclusion and its associated issues. Your dental professional may recommend braces or other orthodontic appliances to adjust the positioning of your teeth. If overcrowding is part of the malocclusion problem, one or more teeth may get extracted to make room in your mouth. In rare cases, a patient may need surgery to reshape their jaw. Dentists don't treat lip biting's psychological and developmental causes, so they may recommend seeing your family doctor or an appropriate specialist. Mental health providers who specialize in BFRB disorders are the most equipped to treat them.
If you or your child bite your lips often, the habit could be a sign of several different underlying conditions, as outlined above. Or it could merely be an individual habit on its own! Rest assured that occasional lip-biting likely isn't a problem. However, chronic biting of the lips can be a distressing habit and can irritate the skin. If you're concerned about how often you or your child are biting your lips, talk to your dental professional or healthcare provider who helps you determine its severity, its causes, and the best form of treatment.