Lip twitching is a sudden involuntary contraction of the lip muscles. Twitching can occur at any time and to any part of the body. It can be on the upper lip or the lower lip. There are some superstitions that attempt to explain the meaning of this phenomena. Here are some causes and how you can stop the twitching.
Causes of twitching lips
Have you ever felt an uncontrollable twitch in your lips? You probably have and this is usually not a cause for concern. It should not worry you much. Different people may experience different symptoms of lip twitching. This will depend on the underlying cause. Most causes of will often go away without any treatment and won’t cause any further symptoms.
However, in some cases, you may experience persistent twitching that does not stop after a few minutes. In this case, you might require a doctor to check your symptoms to determine the underlying cause. Here are some reasons you may suffer either temporary or persistent lip twitching.
One of the common cause of lip twitching is anxiety. Anxiety has the ability to move your body involuntarily. This can be something as small as a finger or as large as your entire leg. You may also experience some common twitching or shaking. Usually fear with twitching might mean something more and a lot of people worries that the twitching may not just be anxiety but something that they can’t control.
Stress plays a major role in the tension of your muscles and your nerves. When you are extremely anxious, your muscles experience a rush of hormones and unusual blood flow. Sometimes this condition is referred to benign fasciculation syndrome, a condition whereby the muscles simply react to changes in nerve energy, pressure and body disrupted body signals. This makes it a possible contributor for lip twitching especially when you are anxious.
Adrenaline makes your muscles throw the extra energy, as well as causing your muscles feel as though they need to move. In some people, this is displayed through moving. This condition is caused by extreme anxiety.
2. Essential tremor
Essential tremor is one of the most common types of tremor that usually affects the arms, hands, and head. This condition occurs mostly while stretching the arms or trying to perform some activity and is often associated with neurological disorders.
There are no known causes of this condition but you may have a family history of essential tremor. You may experience periods of uncomfortable tremors and even shaking of parts of the body that subside after a short period of time or become minimal during rest or while sleeping.
Twitching may be an outcome of facial tics, which involves the muscles of your lips, face, and eyes. You will experience constant spasms in the muscles. This condition often occurs in childhood and heals on its own, but sometimes it can proceed throughout the life. High levels of stress are known to aggravate this condition.
4. Hemi facial spasm
Hemi facial spasm is a condition that normally identify with upper lip twitching, as well as facial muscle contractions, and paralysis of muscle-controlling facial expressions. Twitching of the lips from this condition may reoccur and is linked to compression of the facial nerve, although there is no direct cause is quite known. This condition could elevate in event of anxiety.
5. DiGeorge syndrome
DiGeorge syndrome is a genetic condition linked to a defect on chromosome 22. This defect leads to poor development of various parts of the body. It is often associated with defects in the cleft palate, heart, behavioral problems and poor functioning of parathyroid glands. You may develop signs and symptoms that may present at birth or develop later, depending on the affected systems. Such symptoms include;
- Twitching of the lips and muscles around the mouth
- Spasms of the hands or legs
- Failure to gain weight
- Shortness of breath
- Failure to gain weight or fatigue
6. Drug induced tremor
You may experience drug induced tremors from long-term alcohol abuse or narcotic use, such as crystal meth addiction. These tremors can present as a result of opiate withdrawal and can become severe during the detoxification phase. This condition may persist after rehabilitation just like in recovering addicts, accompanied by other symptoms like head tremor, lip tremor, and tongue, causing difficulties with speech.
7. Substance withdrawal
You may suffer lip twitching symptoms when you stay for a while without having neuro stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, or street drugs. This can be caused by excessive use of such substances too. Symptoms of lip twitching are more evident during the withdrawal period, as well as for a significant length of time after recovery. Twitching may be accompanied by some other symptoms such as tremors of the head, tongue or vocal cords.
8. Hysterical tremor
Hysterical tremors usually occur when you are in a heightened emotional state. This kind of twitching in lips disappears or reduces when the patient gets distracted.
In you have this condition, you will experience low levels of calcium and elevated levels of phosphorous in the body, which is as a result of low production if parathyroid hormone. This leads to a number of symptoms, including;
- Dry rough skin
- Painful menstruation (Dysmenorrhea)
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling sensation, numbness, and a burning sensation in the fingertips, toes, and lips
- Muscle cramps in the feet, legs, abdomen or face
- Patchy hair loss
- Twitching of the hands and feet
10. Bell’s palsy
Consistent lip twitching may be caused by a medical condition known as Bell’s palsy. This is a condition accompanied with temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles of one side of the face due to damage or trauma to the nerve supplying the facial muscles. Some common symptoms associated with this condition include;
- Lack of sensations
- Drooling of saliva
- Facial droop
- Facial swelling
- Difficulties in speaking
- Increased sensitivity on hearing on the affected side
11. Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease involves twitching of the lips that may occur as rhythmical involuntary movements affecting one or both lips, accompanied by some other symptoms such as slurred speech, shaking hands or extremities. The tremor of the lips may stop while doing activities such as eating or speaking. Fasciculation of the lips is not seen when the patient is sleeping. In severe cases, the twitching may continue even the affected person is talking or eating.
Some other signs and symptoms of this condition include;
- Muscle stiffness
- Shuffling steps while walking
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Fixed facial expression with a staring gaze and little or no blinking
12. Tourette’s syndrome
Twitching especially on the upper lip and movement of facial muscles is a major indicator of Tourette’s syndrome. This is a genetic neurological disease especially in children, where children are seen to have abnormal involuntary movements and noises which are known as tics.
Such tics could be motor tics, which are brief repetitive movements involving any muscle groups, or vocal tics, which is a repetitive throat clearing, grunting or sniffing. These tics tend to worsen during stress or anxiety. It tends to be associated with an obsessive compulsive disorder, whereby a person keeps doing the same repetitively.
13. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a condition that mostly affects the upper lip as well as your facial muscle. This twitching can be caused by genetic markers, biochemical imbalances, or as a result of an autoimmune disorder. Twitching is an indicator that the muscles have started weakening and will eventually lead to paralyzation.
Symptoms of twitching lips
Lip twitching is a symptom but not a medical condition. In managing the twitching, it is important that you study the associated symptoms so that you can understand the cause. Some common symptoms associated with twitching lips include;
- Abnormal movement of the lower lip
- Muscles in the lower lip may shrink or contract abruptly
- Constant involuntary spasms around the face at intervals of few minutes
- Lack of sensation in the lips, accompanied by feeling numbness
- Slight tremors in the lips, which may radiate to the rest of the face as well
- Mild palpitation-like movement particularly on the upper lip
What does it mean when your lip twitches?
Lip twitches are involuntary movements of the muscle fibers within your lips, which can be as a result of emotions, injury or trauma, or a chemical reaction on the nerves around the lower lip region. This symptom is not only socially embarrassing it can also be irritating and annoying. Twitching is not a complicated condition and it is quite common.
Normally, this condition affects your lips for a few seconds. It can, however, happen more frequently or persistently. Such cases require proper evaluation for effective measures to be undertaken.
Lip twitching superstitions
Are there any superstitions behind lip twitching? Well, there are some common superstitions that exist when it comes to twitching of lips. These theories may pertain to upper lip twitching or the lower lip twitching superstition.
Lip twitching superstition will vary from geographic location to the other. What this means is that different people will interpret twitching on the upper or lower lip differently. Common superstition involving lip twitching include:
- Upper lip twitching can mean that you can expect someone to kiss you in the near future; it can, however, be switched to mean that you may kiss someone instead.
- The superstitious meaning of bottom lip twitching is that you are likely to get a kiss that day
- If the left side of your lip twitches, it means that something awful or bad is going to happen
- If the right side of your lip twitches, it is a sign that something good is going to happen.
Upper lip twitching
Upper lip twitching is a condition associated with many superstitious beliefs. Upper lip twitching can be a sign of any of the following:
- Alcohol withdrawal or withdrawal from other substances like cocaine and heroin
- Electrolyte imbalance- this involves mainly reduction of potassium in blood along with other symptoms like muscle weakness, muscle cramps, and constipation
- Nicotine (Cigarette) abuse or withdrawal
- Severe anxiety or stress
Herpes simplex- this condition causes swollen nerves on the face and it is considered one of the reasons your left upper or right upper lip twitches. This condition makes you feel pain on the left side of the face, which is at times accompanied by symptoms such as reduced tasting sense, droopiness and stiff side of face or lip.
You can also experience upper lip twitching during pregnancy. It is normal to have both physical and physiological changes when you are pregnant. A pregnancy hormone known as progesterone is responsible for such changes. That chemical agent is responsible for preparation and development of the fetus. There is also significant weight gain that might strain your nerves especially when you go to sleep. You may not only feel twitching but also numbness as well. This condition could hinder distribution of heart and blood to the parts of the face.
Your upper lip twitching may be due to hyperparathyroidism. With this condition, inadequate amounts of parathyroid hormone cause an increase in phosphorous and a decrease in calcium in the body. You may experience muscle spasms of the mouth, face, or right or left side of the lip.
Lower lip twitching
Lower lip twitching refers to sudden and involuntary contractions of the bottom lip muscles. This condition can be caused by an injury, irritation or direct stimulation of the nerves that serve the muscle fibers of the lip.
Low lip twitching can also be a sign of a serious underlying health issue such as Bell’s palsy or DiGeorge syndrome.
This is a self-limiting condition and it normally heals on its own with no medical intervention. If this becomes persistent, you may need to seek medical advice from your health care provider, depending on the symptoms exhibited.
Lower lip twitching is normally felt as tremors of the lip, which could spread to other areas on your face. Some common signs and symptoms that accompany this condition include;
- Minor palpitation-like motions in the bottom lip
- Elicit curling sensations on the edges of the lip
- Numbness in the lower lip
- Spasms that occur frequently after some minutes
- Unexpected and spontaneous contraction of the bottom lip muscles
How to stop lip twitching
To treat lip twitching, you should first find out the underlying cause of twitching. If your physician finds out that cause, the treatment of the underlying cause will help the twitching to gradually reduce or eventually make it disappear.
Some causes may also require some lifestyle changes rather than any sort of treatment. Treatment is very much needed for alleviating symptoms when they become more persistent. Here are some of the remedies you can use to stop lip twitching:
1. Hot compressing
You can apply a warm cloth on your twitching lip as soon as the symptoms show up. This is done by applying pressure on the lip and it helps offer instant relief.
2. Add mineral in your diet
In case your lip twitching is caused by mineral deficiency such as potassium, you should include such essential nutrients like magnesium and potassium among other minerals as part of your diet. This is why a well-balanced diet is vital and it should include some foods like watermelon and bananas, these are rich in potassium, along with other vegetables and fruits.
3. Boost immune system
Your body should have maintained a strong immune system for fighting any underlying conditions that might cause twitching in your lips. This is done through consumption of a diet that boosts your immune system.
4. Control anxiety
Twitching caused by anxiety can be stopped by learning on how to control your anxiety. The following are common proactive approaches you should consider in order to achieve that;
- Full nutritional profile- proper vitamin and minerals help your body respond better to stress hormone and reduce vitamin depletions during times of much stress. You should, therefore, ensure that your diet contains all the proper nutrients much needed by the body.
- Stress management- The more you avoid anxiety producing stimuli, the less twitching you will experience. You should ensure that you avoid activities that might cause you extreme anxiety. Such activities include engaging in stressful activities like gambling or hanging out in dangerous neighborhoods.
- Caffeine avoidance- caffeine has a negative reputation regarding anxiety. This drink is not necessarily harmful as many people are made to think, but may increase your chances of suffering a panic attack. Caffeine doesn’t directly cause twitching though, but the anxiety caused by this drink could cause twitching muscles.
- The doctor could also suggest that you have adequate sleep or rest for fatigue, anti-anxiety or stress medication when the underlying cause is stress.
Exercise can be helpful since it is able to deplete some of the energy in your muscles, which may, in turn, reduce twitching. You should be careful on the exercise to undertake because even exercise can cause muscle twitching depending on the way your muscle reacts to intense physical exertion.
- Lip twitching meaning, causes, treatment, and superstitions: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/lip-twitching-causes-treatment/
- Upper lip twitching causes, meaning, and superstition: http://www.etopical.com/upper-lip-twitching-causes-meaning-superstition-left-right-lip-twitching-symptom/
- Causes of bottom lip twitching: http://healthylifemed.com/bottom-lip-twitching/
- What is lip twitching? Causes, symptoms, and treatments: https://www.epainassist.com/face-mouth-throat/lip-twitching