If you are someone who bites their cheek regularly and wants to stop hypnosis can help.
Hi, I’m Linda. Today I would like to talk about cheek biting because lots of people do it and hypnosis can help conditions that become habits.
Let’s just think about this for a moment as it’s something that we have all experienced.
We all remember biting the inside of our cheek at some time in our lives. It’s not done on purpose.
But when it happens it’s painful and usually makes us stop for a few moments. Later we may notice the sore area when eating or drinking but with time the damaged tissue will repair and we think no more about it. It’s a one-off thing that is usually forgotten.
However, for some people cheek biting or chewing has become a habit or obsessive-compulsive behaviour because they regularly bite the inside of their mouth causing tissue damage, scars and irregular lining of the mouth.
Dentists often notice this habit first.
What causes cheek biting?
Cheek biting can be caused by loose teeth or dentures that are misaligned.
But most people who seek out hypnosis have a problem that the dentist might not be able to stop because it is a psychological issue.
Cheek biting or Morsicato buccarum is a habit that is usually driven by stress and anxiety although boredom can play a part as well.
For some people, it can start as a child, especially if the child experiences something traumatic. But it can also continue into adulthood.
Do people know they are doing it?
No, most people get into the habit subconsciously. They don’t think about it so they do it while concentrating on other things.
They may get an urge to bite.
It’s similar to nail-biting. The person doesn’t want to do it but with cheek biting, it’s not obvious to other people.
Some people bite their cheeks during their sleep. It’s similar to another condition called bruxism where people grind their teeth. (Find out more about bruxism here by clicking the link)
Other people bite their cheeks during the day. They might be concentrating on work and bite when the pressure is on.
Biting lips is another habit disorder associated with cheek biting.
How do people feel who bite their cheek?
Obviously, it’s sore, especially when eating strong flavoured foods or food that is rough in texture.
If the habit is frequent it can cause distress so people look for treatments.
But according to the Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours, the hardest thing for cheek biting sufferers is the feelings of guilt, shame and hopelessness.
These negative feelings can make people feel more stressed and anxious and a cycle starts.
Treatment for cheek biting
If it’s not a major problem that is disrupting their life, lots of people do nothing.
But treatment usually starts with the dentist noting the problem.
There are some creams that can be applied to the inside of the cheek to reduce pain and encourage healing.
Some dentists may suggest prosthetic shields especially if the problem is at night.
Doctors can prescribe medications to help the person feel calmer.
Anything that reduces stress will help and that includes counselling and hypnotherapy.
What happens at a hypnotherapy session?
We get to know each other at a free initial consultation. At that time you can ask questions and I will explain how I work so we can work out the best way forwards together. You must want to change.
At the first appointment, an assessment is made and you will complete a confidential registration form providing health and general lifestyle information.
I will ask questions and we can talk about the problem and how it affects you. I may use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with the hypnosis as this has been shown to improve results in some studies.
Then we do the hypnosis by me talking in a certain way and giving you positive suggestions. Everything is explained. You will not be unconscious, in fact, you may hear everything I say as you take yourself into that pleasant hypnotic place.
Sometimes I tell stories in hypnosis and sometimes I will give direct suggestions to you while you are relaxing. In the end, you are able to open your eyes and carry on the day as you would normally do. I would suggest three sessions of one-hour duration but everyone is different so a couple more sessions may be required.
Every hypnotherapist works in a slightly different way so it’s important that you ask questions to be fully informed and have a good rapport with the therapist.
For more information about counselling or hypnotherapy please contact me.