What is Cheek-Biting?

I keep biting my cheek. What can I do to stop this?  What causes it?

  1. It could be a simple accident.
  2. It could be a symptom of a temporomandibular disorder (TMJD). When your teeth or implants become cheek biting - paid - shutterstock 538724242misaligned in your mouth, it may cause you to bit your cheek regularly.
  3. It could be an expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).In this case, it is viewed as a "body-focused repetitive behavior."

Don't ignore the symptoms. 


The area where you bite your cheek can become thick, scarred, and pale. It might become inflamed and develop purple spots. Repeated cheek biting can cause tissues to erode. Finally, many chronic cheek biters develop emotional effects ranging from wanting to be isolated from others who might see the biting. It can also cause low self-esteem in some people. 


Who can help me?


Your dentist is likely the person who can best help you to identify the cause of the biting and offer some treatments. Your dentist will be able to determine if the biting occurs as a simple accident or if you have temporomandibular disorder. In these cases, your dentist may prescribe a custom mouthguard to protect fragile cheek tissues.


If it becomes clear to your dentist that your cheek-biting is a body-focused repetitive behavior, you will probably be referred to your primary care physician or a counselor.


If you or someone you love is cheek-biting, give us a call.