Why Do I Keep Biting My Tongue

Why do I keep biting my tongue?

It is usually an involuntary action to bite the tongue. It’s a sudden movement that sends a jolt of pain throughout your mouth and your entire body. However, for some people, tongue biting can be more habitual than an involuntary action. To pinpoint just one reason why you keep biting your tongue may not be right since there are several possible reasons.

And although tongue biting is common and can be painful, for some people it becomes repetitive in certain states. You may have noticed that you bite your tongue more often either when you’re sleeping, eating, or talking. Nevertheless, how frequently you bite your tongue at certain states may help to show the cause of your tongue biting.

For instance, if you often bite your tongue when you’re talking, anxiety could be suspected as the reason, among many other possible reasons. There are dangers associated with tongue biting but don’t panic, there are ways to remedy these dangers, but to do so, we’ll need to first understand why it happens. Therefore, in this article, you’ll come to understand different possible reasons why you keep biting your tongue, the spiritual meaning, dangers, and how to stop biting your tongue.


As we have said, there are several reasons why you may always keep biting your tongue. Frequent tongue biting can happen when you eat, talk or sleep, and for each of these events that could potentially lead to tongue biting, there are different causes. So let’s consider why you keep biting your tongue based on these events.


Tongue biting due to chewing food is common, usually accidental, and mostly a result of having too much food in your mouth, however, sometimes that is not the case. Another possible reason why you keep biting your tongue when you eat could be because of your oral arrangement.

If you have a disproportionately large tongue or your teeth are crowded or uneven, you’re very likely to keep biting your tongue when you eat. Overall, tongue biting when eating is due to a lack of coordination. You see, in the brain, there are parts of it known as Pons and they are specifically responsible for controlling how you bite, chew, and swallow.

But sometimes there are mixed signals in the brain when you have the urge to talk while eating, so the Pons get their signals wrong, hence missing a step in their coordination and control of your tongue. For the brief second the Pons can’t help to keep your tongue out of the way when you eat and talk, you risk biting your tongue.

Why Do I Keep Biting My Tongue
Why Do I Keep Biting My Tongue?


Biting your tongue while you’re asleep can be serious sometimes. People could wake up to a swollen tongue or blood stains on their pillow. If you’re always biting your tongue when you sleep, there are several explanations as to why it keeps happening. 

In most cases, it is a sign or a result of an underlying medical condition such as:

1. Bruxism

Also known as teeth grinding or clenching. Bruxism is a fairly common movement that affects your sleep. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes it, but they think it has something to do with the type of dreams you have or being aroused during sleep. Bruxism can affect your teeth and jaws, as it causes you to unconsciously clench your teeth. This can result in some feeling of soreness and pain, and can also cause you to bite your tongue.

2. Nighttime Seizures

This is common in people with epilepsy, and that’s about 50 million people worldwide. During their attacks, they lose control of their body movements as their muscles tighten, accompanied by violent twitching and involuntary biting of the tongue, usually at the tip or sides.

3. Spasm Of Facial And Jaw Muscles

This condition is common among children and is also called ‘faciomandibular myoclonus’. It causes uncontrollable trembling of the chin during sleep, so much so that people who have this condition cannot control their facial and jaw muscles, so often end up biting their tongue.

4. Rhythmic Movement Disorder

Rhythmic movement disorder is also common in children. The condition causes them to experience jerks or sudden movement around the head or neck during sleep or drowsiness. It may also cause rapid head banging and rolling that could likely result in an injury to the eyes, and brain and cause you to bite your tongue.

Other than as a result of these underlying conditions, you may also find tongue biting to be common in people who use illicit drugs. For instance, MDMA, also known as “molly”, is an illicit drug that causes extreme euphoria and also bruxism, which causes tongue biting during sleep. 

Although how molly causes bruxism isn’t exactly known, some experts think that it intensifies the urge to bite or chew, while a study carried out on rats suggests that molly may lead to reduced ability to keep the jaws open.

Tongue biting is also common in people with sleep apnea, although the condition does not cause it. However, it is believed that people with sleep apnea often have large tongues or muscles in the mouth that relaxes abnormally during sleep. Anxiety and stress could also cause you to bite your tongue.


Some people see tongue biting as not just an involuntary movement of the mouth, but also as a sign from the universe about impending dangers or a call to action.

Several spiritual meanings have been given to help understand why people keep biting their tongues, some of which are:

  • For married couples, it’s a warning of a coming conflict that may lead to a divorce if action is not taken.
  • A sign to be careful of the things you say as someone is around you that can use your words against you.
  • A warning to learn to keep your secrets to yourself because if you’re loose with information about yourself, people around you may want to betray you.
  • Caution to be mindful of your words because you’re releasing negativity with your words.
  • A warning to stop lying and live honestly.
  • Caution to be self-controlled and not be easily moved by situations around you.
  • A sign that someone you trust has betrayed you and is gossiping about you.
  • A sign that you’ve made lots of mistakes and have lost control of yourself.


Now and then, you may bite your tongue accidentally and there’s nothing serious about that as tongue biting is common. However, if you frequently bite your tongue, probably due to any of the reasons mentioned in this article, you may be at risk of certain complications. The tongue is an important muscle in the body that helps in functions such as breathing, eating, and speaking.

It is also a complicated muscle with at least 8,000 motor units that helps in its movement. This is why it is very flexible and can hurt so much when injured. Frequent tongue biting can cause damage to the lateral parts of your tongue, that is the top and sides of your tongue. It could also cause damage to the mucous membrane of your cheeks.

If you frequently bite your tongue, you’re at risk of:

  • Developing an ulcer, infections, or scallops.
  • Having impaired functioning of the tongue, such that it makes eating, chewing, and talking difficult.
  • Having a disfigured tongue
  • Blocked airways
  • Clicking sound and whistling when talking.


To stop biting your tongue, you need to know why you bite your tongue in the first place. If an underlying condition is the cause of your tongue biting, then the first approach to stop biting your tongue is to treat the underlying condition.

Here are some tips to help you stop biting your tongue:

  • Use a Mouthguard: A mouthguard will help prevent further tongue biting, especially if you bite your tongue more when you’re asleep. Speak to a dentist to know what type, shape, and size of mouthguard will be perfect for your mouth.
  • Take Your Medications: If you’re an epileptic or you sometimes have seizures, get an antiseizure medication prescription from your doctor and make sure to always take them according to your doctor’s prescription, to help prevent seizures and tongue biting. If the seizures continue regardless of the medication, talk with your doctor about adjusting your dose.
  • Stay away from anything that will peak your anxiety and stress levels.
  • Avoid the use of illicit drugs. The more you take them, the more likely you are to bite your tongue.
  • If your teeth are clustered or uneven, you may consider getting braces to help fix them and also reduce frequent tongue biting.
  • Avoid talking with food in your mouth and eat slowly.


Tongue biting is a common occurrence, although it can get frequent and this could be a result of so many factors. You may bite your tongue when you’re talking, eating, or sleeping, and if it is frequent, you may be at risk of dangers such as developing an ulcer on your tongue.

However, you could prevent this by knowing why you keep biting your tongue in the first place and taking measures, such as those suggested in this article, to stop biting your tongue.

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