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Why do I bite my cheeks every time I get anxious?

Hi Simon, I know this isn’t really a dental phobia question but every-time i get stressed or anxious I begin to chew and bite the insides of my mouth, mostly the insides of my cheeks. I’av done this for as long as I remember but really need to stop doing as the inside of my mouth is rather a mess. My dentist keeps warning me to stop but doesn’t give me any advice, so hopefully you could, thanks

Thank you for enquiry.
You are right to try to find a solution for this problem as it can damage your teeth as well as your cheeks and Tongue and jaw joints iin the long term
I presume you have been aware of this for some time,and are relatively young (under 30).
It may be that your habit is related to stress. Some peole are more susceptible than others to manifesting habits such as these, and that being the case treatment can involve short courses of medication to help reduce this tendency, treatment by a hypnotherapist, treatment in the form of a bite splint or combinations of the above.
The decision of which method might be best for you depends largely on your history and clinical assessment.
This is not a field which your dentist has a deep knowledge of, so maybe you should see your general doctor to discuss possible referral to a counsellor/hypnotist in the first instance.

I hope this advice is helpful

Simon

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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