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Do you often find yourself absentmindedly biting the insides of your cheeks? You’re not alone. Cheek biting, while seemingly harmless, can actually have significant impacts on your oral health. Our dentist in Oak Park, IL, is here to explain.

Do you have an oral health mystery, query, or dilemma you’d like solved? Contact Dr. Thomas W. Wegner at Town & Country Dental today. Our dentist in Oak Park, IL, can help you get to the bottom of dental health issues, preserving your smile for years to come. Call (708) 383-0330 to learn more about what makes your smile so special!

Now, let’s delve into why some people engage in cheek biting. Here, our dentist in Oak Park, IL, explains this habit and why it’s crucial to break it.

Understanding the Habit

Cheek biting (technically known as morsicatio buccarum) is a habit that many people develop without even realizing it. It affects women more than men, and it often occurs due to stress, anxiety, or even just boredom

Some individuals may find comfort in the repetitive motion, while others may do it absentmindedly while focusing on other tasks. No matter the reason, cheek biting can be harmful to oral health.

The Harmful Effects

While cheek biting may seem benign, it can actually lead to a host of oral health problems. Here’s why:

Tissue Damage

Repeatedly biting the insides of the oral cavity can lead to tissue damage. The delicate mucosal lining of the cheeks can become irritated, inflamed, and even develop sores or ulcers over time.

Risk of Infection

Open wounds caused by cheek biting create an entry point for bacteria and other pathogens. This increases the risk of infection, leading to painful conditions such as cellulitis or abscesses if left untreated.

Tooth Damage

Cheek biting can also result in unintentional trauma to the teeth. The pressure exerted by biting down forcefully can cause chips, cracks, or even fractures in the teeth over time.

Gum Recession

Consistent cheek biting can place undue pressure on the gums, potentially leading to gum recession. Receding gums not only compromise the aesthetic appearance of your smile but also increase the risk of tooth decay and sensitivity.


In severe cases, chronic cheek biting can contribute to malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth. This occurs when the repeated pressure disrupts the natural positioning of the teeth, leading to bite problems and jaw pain.

Breaking the Habit

Breaking the cycle of cheek biting is essential for preserving your oral health. Here are some tips to help you kick the habit:

Identify Triggers

Pay attention to what triggers your cheek biting episodes. Whether it’s stress, anxiety, or boredom, understanding the root cause can help you address it more effectively.

Practice Mindfulness

Try to stay mindful and present in the moment. Whenever you catch yourself biting your cheeks, consciously redirect your focus and engage in a different activity to occupy your hands and mind.

Stress Management

Explore stress-relief techniques such as exercise, controlled breathing, meditation, or talking to a therapist

Oral Hygiene

Maintain good oral hygiene habits to keep your mouth healthy and free from irritation. Disciplined brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a therapeutic mouthwash can help prevent complications associated with cheek biting.

Seek Professional Help

If you find it challenging to break the habit on your own, don’t hesitate to seek support from our dentist in Oak Park, IL. Dr. Wegner can offer personalized advice and interventions to help you overcome cheek biting and restore your oral health.

Ask a Top-Rated Dentist in Oak Park, IL

Cheek biting may seem like a safe habit, but its consequences can be far-reaching. Want to learn more about this habit or other oral health issues? Reserve an appointment at Town & Country Dental online or at (708) 383-0330 to learn more about your smile with our dentist in Oak Park, IL.