My dentist asked recently asked me if I was aware of biting the inside of my cheeks as there are marks on both sides that run horizontally right where my bite would be. It's not sore or sensitive at all, just with this weird mark. I think I have unconsciously been doing this, like a clenching kind of thing but biting down on the soft tissue rather than actually grinding my teeth. She referred me to an oral surgeon 450 kms away. I haven't made the appt yet; first trying to be aware of the behaviour and curb this habit and see if it goes away on its own, which I think it will.
Perhaps with everything going on, you are doing something like this too, and may be a reflection of the stress you're under. If it continues you ought to have a dentist take a look; if you're doing it while asleep perhaps a bite guard would help.
My dentist says that I definitley bite my cheeksw and grind my teeth when I am asleep and the only thing that may help is a mouthguard. I have not gone this route yet but any activity and soreness in the mouth is a sign of being run down. It may be worth tyring a good mouthwash and seeing your hygienist and mentioning it.
I bite the inside of my mouth all the time, because it's numb - but I don't think that's what you meant! But you know how it is - you bite your lip, and now it sticks out, so you end up biting it again.
I bite my mouth, tongue, etc. I know I am doing it and cannot stop. It is like my bite has a mind of its own. It is always my left side which is my bad side from the MS. I told my Doctor and they did an eeg last year which found no seizure disorder my copay was $700.
A few months ago I cracked a tooth from biting which cost $1500 dollars to fix, my in insurance would not pay for it.
My dentist made me a bite guard my insurance won't pay for but it is worth it. At first I gagged and though I would never get used to it now I use it all the time. I find it also helps with some of the face pain I have experienced. Tendonitis from the jaw.
My dentist is amazed because I never have the same bite twice. They had a hard time making impressions for the crown. I am not sure if it is the MS or the fact I have busted my cheek so many times falling from MS.
I have to conciously close my teeth without my cheek or tongue inside of them before I go to sleep or I wake up with both tongue and cheek locked in my teeth on the right side every night. I have never talked to my dentist about it. I guess I should.
So I would say it is totally possible this is what you are experiencing...biting in your sleep.
I will not tell anyone to ignore the possibility of seizure since I am not a doctor. My dentists says most of his MS patients do the involuntary biting thing. It makes sense to me that we can have all kinds of involuntary movements why not the teeth?
Once the possibility of a seizure disorder is ruled out, then you have to look for ways that prevent the gnashing of teeth.
1) Go toothless - obvious functional and cosmetic consequences
2) Nightguard - used to prevent grinding of teeth. Could be made with surfaces less likely to catch the cheek or tongue
3) Stop Sleeping
4) Put a Ping Pong Ball in each cheek at night.
I also bite my tongue on the left side every morning just before I wake up. This is what wakes me up, oddly enough. I know that I do not clench my teeth as I sleep slack-jawed and drool (you're welcome for the image), but I have always occasionally snapped my teeth together as I fell asleep or just on awakening. My tongue is sore as I type.
Alex - Thanks for the info from your dentist. Sudden biting (when not seizure activity) is from a myoclonus of the (probably) masseter muscle (this is the big muscle on the side of your cheeks that bulges when you clench your teeth) - handled by Cranial Nerve 3% or the Trigeminal Nerve, the lower branch or V3, also called the Mandibular Branch.
Jan - Your gums being sore indicate a gingivitis (inflammation of the gums and often of the other surfaces of the mouth). This will make you have unusual movements of the mouth and tongue because of the discomfort. See your doc and/or dentist and see it it is treatable.
I don't know if you guys are even still following this thread but I actually just used one of those websites that you pay to speak with an actual doctor and the doctor I spoke with didn't think it was a seizure. I actually had epilepsy as a kid then was cured with surgery and then had a seizure in January because of a medication error so it was even plausible that it was a seizure, but she really didn't think so. Just wanted to add that piece.
This occurrence is called Linea Alba (literally White Lines) and it happens for a number of reasons.
Your nighttime parafunction (clenching, grinding and such) can cause such lines to appear. This is also seen frequently in people with Sleep Apnea, as they tend to brux and grind their teeth and use the inside of their mouth as a "self splint".
Another prominent factor that can be noted is the use of certain anti-anxiety medications (like Cymbalta), which are also frequently used for fibromyalgia, MS, arthritis and other issues cause a dis-kinetic muscle response and thus involuntary clenching and grinding occurs.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.