To some people, cheek biting is just a bad habit without any harm. Although the habit looks tiresome, it may be a sign of mental health condition that is much the same as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) caused by anxiety and stress. Cheek biting can become chronic, it’s reviewed to be a Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior (BFRB) that is much like Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling) and Excoriation (Skin Picking). The chronic cheek biting is scientifically known as Morsicatio Buccarum and it correlates with anxiety-related problems.
There does not seem to be a particular cause for cheek biting but there are suggested causes for the said behavior which include unconscious reaction to stress, unconscious reaction to boredom or unresponsive coping strategy for emotional overload. Though the habit may be normal to the person in question, there are dangers attached to it. The main consequence is the injury of the mouth tissue which can lead to mouth sore and ulcers. Biting concentration on a particular portion of the inner cheek can result in skin patch and the damaged area creates a cycle of worsening injury. Because of the dangers that are involved, I will show you how to stop cheek biting in 5 simple but helpful ways in this article. Relax and read on.
HOW TO STOP CHEEK BITING
To get out of the cheek biting behavior, the first thing you need is self-help – identify when you do it. If you find out that the biting is as a result of stress or there are other likely reasons behind it, pay attention to when it is mostly done and try as much as possible to avoid the triggers or stop it consciously. This first and most important step of self-help is inevitable because “if you’re not tired of it, you can’t get out of it”.
#2: CONSULTING A DENTIST
Consulting a dentist is another great way to stop the mouth damaging habit. The cause might probably be simple and need just dental appliances and in some cases, surgery. The treatment may be a bit complicated in case the biting have become chronic but determining if the act is habitual or compulsive should be the first step. Surely you can get help from the dentist irrespective of the cheek biting level you find yourself.
#3: FIND A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Sometimes, you may not notice you’re biting, even for a long period of time, probably because of the pleasure derived from the habit. After all the effort to stop biting proved abortive, talking with trusted friends, family members or/and coworkers about it may help immensely. Tell them to help you figure out when you do it and to call your attention to it, that way you will gradually stop the act.
#4: GET SOMETHING DONE
It is possible that boredom may also be the reason behind the biting habit. If you discover the habit is much when bored, then get up and do something. It is difficult to be a victim of bad lifestyle when you’re always active. So, get acquainted with activities that can keep your mind positive with life – watching life football matches on the nearby field, talking a walk along the street with your pet, etc. Most importantly, avoid boredom activities and be active always.
#5: COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
CBT is an extremely popular talk therapy. With CBT, a person’s cheek biting behavior can be transformed into a healthier life that will never involve biting anymore. The therapy involves getting help from a counselor who will walk you at different stages of counseling. If all counseling stages are carefully adhered to, it will definitely reshape the way you think and behave, which is the major factor behind the biting habit. Other talking therapy that could help include acceptance and commitment therapy, habit reversal therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.
To stop a familiar habit may be difficult but the mind-relieving news is, it is possible to stop cheek biting which starts with you. Tell yourself it’s a bad and destructive habit that must be stopped, then get into the helpful tips listed above to see which of them works for you. Procrastination, as they say, is the thief of time. Take a step today and get yourself out of the mouth injuries caused by cheek biting.