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I have had the horrible habit of biting my lips and cheek since I was about 6 or 7 years old. They usually always bleed and I know the trauma I am inflicting on myself is definitely not good. I posted on the oral care board about different remedies or advice for treating the ulcerations that I cause on my lips and cheeks. What I wanted to ask here is: Does anyone have any suggestions for how to quit? I almost feel like this is an addiction, like smoking. I don't know how it got started, but since this whole biting incidence has occurred many years ago, I keep doing it because I want the skin to be smooth and even. When the new skin tries to grow back, it is rough and not smooth... so I bite it off. My parents say they notice me doing it when I am in a particularly stressful situation or when I have a lot on my mind. I guess during these episodes I feel out the rough skin with my tongue and go to work. I don't realize that I've done it until it begins to bleed. The ironic thing is that I do this to make myself feel more normal, when in actuality... it is abnormal. Any ideas on how to quit? I feel like I desperately need to quit to prevent infection, cancer, and other horrible illnesses.

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Hi

I did a google search for cheek/lip biting & found your post describing behavior to be very similar to mine. I feel with my tongue and if either are not smooth I will bite or pull the surface with my teeth. I will also use my fingernail to scrape the rough surface on both lips & inside my cheeks. I also roll my lips over each other a lot. I know its a stress or anxiety related disorder. Im 38 and have been doing it for at least 10 or 15 years. I cant offer any help, but was curious if you had any feed back for me or heard from anyone with any usefull info.

Any info is appreciated.

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oh my god i do the exact same thing! i try not to cuz i'm scared that eventually i'll end up with a hole in my cheek lol, but i just cant stop doing it! I suffer from anxiety but stupidly never put two and two together. Sorry I havent got any advice but good to know there's other people out there like me!
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Its probably similar to someone who has chronic or habitual nail biting behavior. Not sure if its true or not, but a palstic surgeon told me it can lead to premature development of age lines around your mouth on your cheeks. I dont do it to the point where i get lesions or wounds in my mouth lips but would like to be able to stop doing it. It's probably not healthy. I am completely aware that I'm doing it when I do it.
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daydreamjen wrote:

oh my god i do the exact same thing! i try not to cuz i'm scared that eventually i'll end up with a hole in my cheek lol, but i just cant stop doing it! I suffer from anxiety but stupidly never put two and two together. Sorry I havent got any advice but good to know there's other people out there like me!



I couldnt believe it when i read your comment, my partner has the exact same thing and does the exact same things with his lips.. I know its terrible but i do find it so frustrating by times as i can see from the corner of my eye.. badly need help for him.. is hypnosis the only way? I no me commenting on it is probably making it worse, but I am not sure how else to help him..
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Hi! I know exactly what you mean. I started doing that when I was in the first grade. I also do it more when I stress (Like right now studying for an exam when I noticed I was doing it so I googled it). The problem is that once you start you want to keep your mouth smooth so you keep biting at it the next day or next morning. I've found the only thing you can do is try to stop as soon as you notice you're doing it. after a while your skin will become smooth again and you won't be inclined to bite unless you're under severe stress again. It's like trying to stop smoking I guess. Try to stop yourself from doing it whenever possible and once everything is healed just don't get back into the habit or the cycle will repeat. This is just psychological. I'm surprised other people have this I thought I was the only one. Naive I suppose.
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I do this too. I too was studying for an exam and trying to prevent biting my cheek, so I googled it. I've never met anyone else who does this. I've been doing it since elementary school, and yes, I too do it more when I am stressing or anxious. My dental hygienist told me it could lead to oral cancer so I'm trying really hard to quit. Most of your comments sounded like they were coming out of my head ... I use my tongue to feel around fo the rough parts, any hangers are briskly cleaned away. I wonder how long it will take to heal if I can quit. I told my husband that it causes cancer, and to please stop me when he sees me doing it. Now I feel like a bigger freak every time he says "STOP CHEWING YOUR CHEEKS!" He never even noticed before. How can people not notice you pressing your finger to your cheek on a daily basis? Anyway, best of luck to all of you in quitting. I'm making a conscious effort to quit.
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Ive been doing it since i was like 10. sometimes i keep biting the inside of my lower lip mostly in the middle and it does result in me having little holes then when that yellow skin starts to grow over it i bite that off too.

I wouldn't say im stressed when i do it i think its more of a habit now.
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well seems like there is a lot of us lip and cheek biters out there, i didn't know it was as common until now. i was sitting at work and noticed i bit a hole in my bottom lip and researched it and found this site. ive sone this since i was a little girl, when i was little doing it i would severally bite the inside of my cheek till i had a huge hole there and my cheek would be swollen, i have always wondered why the heck i do this and how to stop it, most of the time i don't notice till its too late! but i have noticed that if i chew gum a lot then i have less biting sores in my mouth. it doesn't completely stop it but helps. i tend to do it a lot when i am concentrating, nervous, or stressed. least i don't feel alone about this situation anymore!
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I am a long-time cheek biter! and lips. my husband HATES it. especially the lips. I have red sores on my lips from biting. That is so weird that you said you are trying to smooth everything out. that's the same thing that I think and it becomes an endless struggle.

anyway, the best thing I can do is to force myself to STOP, as soon as my tongue wanders around.

I feel better knowing i'm not the only one! although I wouldn't wish this on anyone!
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Oh my! I do this as-well, and I have only ever met 1 person who does it. Its horrible :-( Right down the the addiction of wanting it smooth again when your just making it worse all the time. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember but it got a-lot worse when I came to university and things got stressful. Its getting to the point where I feel like the roots of my teeth are getting loose due to sort of...over stretching. Also I only stopped sucking my thumb at this time, sad I know. But I think I have some kind of oral compulsion linked with anxiety. I find chewing gum can help. My best advice would be find something to think about, that's not your usual anxious thought when your doing it. When you realise your biting, stop yourself. Write down what you were just thinking maybe? So you can more understand and accept what's worrying you. If anyone finds anything useful please post back. Seems to be more common than I thought! Good luck. Also I have my tongue pierced. Not sure if that's common amongst sufferers.
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Chewing gum works for me in stressful situations that i find myself biting my checks and fingernails.
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I too have been doing this for about 25 years or so. It got so bad that the bottom of my front tooth is not straight across. It actually slants up a bit to the right because its been eroded away from biting my lower lip! I found that CHEWING GUM constantly is the only solution. As long as I have gum I'm great. Also, the best remedy I've found to QUICKLY smooth out and heal the lips I've destroyed by biting them is DR. PEPPER lip gloss sold by Bonnie Bell. I know that is strange but I HAVE USED EVERY LIP REMEMEDY and this one tints your lips a little bit has something in it that really does heal lips very quickly - quicker than Blistex. Also it helps to take a photo or your self with your lips all jacked up from biting on them. Then put the photo in a location where you tend to bite your lips (at the computer, near the TV, etc). Just having it out is embarrassing enough but looking at it constantly will help. Anyway, just some suggestions for you (am me)!
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Well, I thought I was alone but I guess I'm not. I can't seem to stop having this awful habit either. I get stressed or anxious about something and I just throw all my efforts of trying to stop biting, out the window! I can't ever remember not having this habit and I'm 42 years old. I try to just not do it but obviously, that doesnt work. I was looking on the internet for some remedy and came across this forum. I don't know what to do to make myself stop doing this! It bothers me for sure as many of you and like many of you, I start to feel the new skin develop and I bite it b/c the inside of my mouth doesn't feel smooth and that bugs me but then again, it never feels smooth!
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i can identify with everyone ...have history of anxiety ever since I can remember; I started biting my nails around 4th grade; I graduated from this habit during early college yrs and developed habit of lip and cheek biting during this time; I do this almost every day and it gets worse whenever I'm under stress. Five yrs ago, I decided to quit for good after 5yrs of this habit ...I stopped cold turkey, which lasted for several months. I struggled quitting for another couple yrs; in each case, I relapsed but with decreased severity than previous. I have currently overcome this habit (this is doable); haven't bitten my lips for over 2 yrs. If I can do it, anyone can.
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