How to Stop Cheek Biting or Morsicatio Buccarum
by Erika Slater
Most likely this habit started out of anxiety, or due to an accidental bite, that most likely you saw stars from the pain. As the wound was healing in your mouth and forming a scab, you probably got into the habit of checking it with your tongue and teeth.
Soon, you likely started ‘teething’ on it not only as a reminder it was there, but also as a pacifier.
This is how ‘cheek biting’ usually starts and persists in someone’s life as a habit.
Let’s look at other ways issues in your mouth can start and ways to overcome them…
HOW CHEEK BITING PERSISTS:
When one continually accidentally bites their cheeks repeatedly leading to wounds, dentists may have to intervene to fix one’s teeth as they may be too sharp or chipped which may be the reason for the continual problem.
In some cases, individuals, may have ‘wild bites’ caused by a jaw misalignment, which in severe cases may require re-alignment through surgery. Some individuals may actually have to get mouth guards to keep their jaws in place to avoid the sliding of their mouths leading to overbites.
Interestingly, some individuals may bite into their cheeks too many times accidentally as a by-product of their gum chewing. Some individuals who chew large wads of gum, and chew too hard can cause the accidental bite wounds to their cheeks.
The same goes for ‘aggressive’ eaters who put too much food in their mouths, or chew too fast!
Some cheek biters suffer from anxiety or high levels of stress which causes them to gnaw on their cheeks. Much like an infant chews on a pacifier an individual may use their cheek in much the same way.
Individuals who possess oral addictions such as nail biting, chewing on pens or pencils, excessive gum chewing’s, tooth pics, etc., may opt to nibble on the sides of their cheeks when they don’t have their oral ‘pacifiers’ as a substitute when they’re are feeling stressed out.
In addition, some individuals may resort to chewing on their cheeks as a substitute for cigarette smoking, another oral addiction, once they opt for smoking cessation.
WAYS TO OVERCOME CHEEK BITING:
Your Dentist sees it on a regular basis and this is the first place to start.
Your Dentist can check out the obvious things going on in your mouth, and teeth, to determine if a mouth guard, or other dental treatments such as a bite correction or jaw realignment is needed to resolve the issue.
If there seems no apparent issues with your mouth and teeth then it may just have developed into one of those persistent yet annoying habits, and just being aware when its happening and causing a distraction for yourself may be enough to overcome the habit – chewing gum (sugar-free of course) may be enough to overcome a passing habit.
When the cause of cheek biting is stress or anxiety and prolonged, then the underlying issue can be a psychological problem or even a mental health issue.
In these cases, you’ll have to consult with your Doctor first and then with a psychologist or therapist to determine whether or not there’s a problem which requires some kind of further treatment such as medication.
In these cases, relaxation therapy and stress management can help overcome all but the most severe and persistent cheek biting. There are many techniques that can help you relax and these include deep breathing, meditation, visualization, hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and biofeedback.
Hypnosis can be excellent protocols for helping individuals overcome their cheek biting habits.
A local hypnotherapist can teach clients relaxation techniques as well as post hypnotic cues and suggestions to engage in other activities, other than cheek biting, whenever you’re feeling stressed out.
By using hypnosis, results can be instantaneous, helping individuals quickly identify they’re gnawing on their cheeks, and replacing this activity with something less harmful for their body!
Self-hypnosis sessions let you have many of the benefits of a face-to-face hypnosis session with a hypnotist without waiting for an appointment. Many hypnotherapists will provide a customized self-hypnosis session to take home or download as part of their session take-away for you. Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our in-office or online sessions for our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>
If you can’t get to a local hypnotist or they don’t offer online sessions then check out this hypnosis session you can download and listen to in privacy of your own home here >>>
OTHER RESOURCES RELATED TO CHEEK BITING:
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
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