Biting Your Tongue: What Does it Mean? 

Stop biting your tongue

Ouch! You bit your tongue! That unmistakable pain is both surprising and frustrating. It’s not fun when you bite your tongue. No one likes that jolting sensation sent throughout your mouth and your whole body. Everyone makes this mistake every so often, but if you bite your tongue frequently, there may be a cause for concern. To stop biting your tongue, you first need to learn more about why it happens.

But don’t be alarmed – our experts at Star Dental Group Riverside can help you get to the bottom of your tongue-biting issues. First, it’s essential to understand that you can bite your tongue in different ways and for various reasons. Some bite it while they eat, while others find out they’ve bitten their tongue during sleep. What does this mean for you, and what can be done to stop biting your tongue? 

Biting Your Tongue Frequently When You Eat

We don’t often think about how powerful our teeth are when we chomp down on our favorite foods. Our teeth are great at tenderizing meat and crushing up food into smaller sizes so it can smoothly go through our digestive system. But while you are chowing down on your next meal, you might accidentally bite on your tongue. When this happens once, it’s just a mistake, but if it happens more often than that, there may be another problem at play. 

It’s All About the Brain

The biggest reason why you may bite your tongue while you eat is due to coordination. There’s a part of the brain known as the pons that is responsible for controlling habitual actions like biting, chewing, swallowing, and more. It’s an action we don’t really have to think about. We just do it.

Sometimes, the pons gets its signals crossed, and it misses a step in its otherwise perfect coordination. This could be due to an outside distraction – the urge to talk while eating, for example – that drowns out the signals the pons might be sending to help control your tongue.

Does This Mean Something Serious?

In most cases, there isn’t a more significant issue at play, and you have nothing to worry about. Wires get crossed when there is too much brain stimulus at once. Suck on an ice cube for a while or follow Healthline’s guide for tongue pain to get rid of that irritating sensation!

Biting Your Tongue in Your Sleep

What happens when you wake up with a sore and swollen tongue? It’s possible that you bit your tongue during your sleep. While this happens to everyone every so often, there may be more serious underlying issues that cause your tongue to fall victim to your chompers repeatedly. 

Frequent tongue-biting may be an indication of:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Night seizures
  • Rhythmic movement disorder
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

If you suspect that one of the above ailments may be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep (and hurting your tongue in the process), you ought to schedule a consultation with your dentist as well as a potential sleep doctor. Sleep-related disorders are dangerous and can affect not only your mouth but the health of your entire body. 

Getting Help for Sleep-Related Dental Issues

Some of the more common sleep-related dental ailments, such as bruxism, can be solved with a visit to your trusted dentist. You can get fitted for a nightguard, a rubbery device that you can wear, which protects your teeth from biting down on anything in your mouth. This will surely save your tongue a lot of pain!

If you are suffering from a sleeping disease, such as sleep apnea or night seizures, you may need a referral to a sleep specialist so you can get your needs assessed as quickly as possible. Our friendly dental experts at Star Dental Group Riverside would be happy to schedule a consultation with you to determine your needs and find ways for you to stop biting your tongue.

Protect Your Tongue Today!

Having trouble with constantly biting down on your tongue? Stop the suffering now by scheduling a consultation with your local dentist. You can have a conversation with our dental experts about the health of your mouth, teeth, and tongue, and we can suggest the best possible solutions for you to stop biting your tongue. Get started by contacting us online or by giving us a call at (951) 680-1777.