Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Morsicatio Buccara (Cheek Biting)

Woman holding cheek in pain

Morsicatio buccarum or cheek biting is a condition in which people have the habit of biting their inner cheeks or the buccal mucosa of the cheeks. There are many causes of the unfortunate condition that can be prevented. Cheek Biting may be caused by a sharp pointed teeth when a patient may chip a part of their teeth while eating a hard food that requires deep biting. People may also accidentally bite their cheeks while carelessly chewing as shift their attention to other activities such as reading a book or talking to someone on the phone while eating.

A common cause of morsicatio buccarum is the eruption of wisdom teeth may occur during adolescent or later adulthood. During the eruption of the wisdom teeth, the wisdom teeth is placed in a misaligned position usually towards the buccal position. At other times, the habit may be developed due to other instances of misaligned teeth such as temporomandibular joint disorder, ill fitting dentures, and jaw closure problems. As for the other causes of many medical conditions, Morsicatio buccarum can also be caused by stress, anxiety, or anxiety disorders. Cheek biting may be simple just caused by accidentally biting on the cheeks while eating too fast or at situations when the patient feels nervous.


Morsicatio buccarum is a condition that may seem harmless for most people as they may experiences few instances when they accidentally bite their cheeks while eating but it can cause harmful symptoms for those who developed a habit of biting their cheeks. For less serious conditions of cheek biting, a white line will be present in the oral cavity. As the patient bites into the same area more and more, the area or the linea alba will become more painful, bigger, and more present.

The condition may be serious that spicy and or very hot food will cause the person to lose their appetite and aggravate the pain. One of the harmful effects of Morsicatio buccarum is the mouth sores that need medical attention. Currently, there is an ongoing discussion on whether the infections of Morsicatio buccarum may cause mouth, cheek, or oral cancer. As discussed before in the causes of cheek biting, stress can also cause cheek biting at nighttime.


Morsicatio buccarum may be treated depending on the causes of the medical condition and the origins of the habit. If the causes of the cheek biting are due to stress and anxiety, it is best for the patients to try techniques and therapy to reduce stress or anxiety in addition to eliminating the origins of the particular stress. Some of the suggested ways to reduce the stress include deep breathing, Yoga Nidra, self-hypnosis, and biofeedback.

Additionally, patients should visit therapy and counseling for their anxiety or exercise daily to remove the stress. Those who bite their cheeks due to the misalignment of their teeth or eruption of their cheek, they should visit their dentist to fix the problem to prevent any further damages on their teeth and their cheeks. Infections such as mouth sores can be prevented at home by simply swishing chlorhexidine mouthwash or tea tree oil mouthwash. As for careless chewing, it is helpful to distract oneself like chewing gum or replacement therapies.

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