“Why Do I Keep Biting My Tongue At Night?”

added on: January 16, 2017

Everyone enjoys getting a solid night’s sleep. It not only feels great… it also provides some valuable health benefits, too. But sometime, sleep can be interrupted by any number of things — a snoring partner, a sick child, or even from biting your own tongue. If this last item happens to you frequently, my dental office in Chapel Hill encourages you to find out why. We’re here to help.

Common Causes

Nighttime tongue biting is actually pretty common, but it can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. What’s more, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on. The top reasons someone may experience tongue biting during sleep include:  

  • Nighttime seizures
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Rhythmic movement disorder

Let’s take a closer look at each cause and potential treatment.

Nighttime Seizures

Seizures are usually categorized by a tightening of muscles accompanied by violent twitching. Involuntarily biting of the tongue is also one of the main indicators of seizures. But the symptoms aren’t always so noticeable, and sometimes there are no daytime signs and rather only occur during sleep. Treatment: Using a seizure medication can help prevent seizures and, in turn, tongue biting.

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

This disorder causes individuals to experience jerks or sudden movements during sleep, usually in the head or neck. Typically more common in children, sometimes rhythmic movement disorder can appear as head banging and may result in injuries to the eyes, brain, and yes, tongue. Treatment: The good news is rhythmic movement disorder in children tends to go away on its own. If not, medication may be recommended.

Grinding Your Teeth

Nighttime bruxism, also known as grinding your teeth, is fairly common but can cause someone to bite their tongue unwillingly. Teeth grinding may also create additional dental problems like chips and cracks. Treatment: A bruxism night guard can protect teeth from grinding against each other, as well as the tongue from being bitten

If you suffer from frequent nighttime tongue biting, talk with your dentist in Chapel Hill to determine if grinding your teeth may the cause and to discuss the best treatment for your specific needs. My Chapel Hill dental office also encourages you to see your physician if another culprit is suspected.

Accepting patients from Chapel Hill, Durham, Pittsboro and beyond. 

Posted In: Oral Health