Hi, my name is Ellen and I'm a lip biter. There - I've said it. Now everyone knows. I don't have to hide anymore.
I bite the inside of my lips - often moving to the inside cheek area. I've been doing this all my life with periods (sometimes years) of remission.
Why do I bite? It's not a nervous habit. I wish I knew. I'm blaming my tongue. My tongue is the culprit. It roams around in there until it feels a rough patch and decides my teeth should get busy and clear that spot. And the biting begins.
This habit gets so bad sometimes that I then have rather serious pain in my TMJ - tempero-mandibular joint. That's where the jaws join right under your ears. I haven't let it get to that point in a long time.
To help me when I'm in "super-bite mode" I've had a mouth guard made by my dentist. Not the big, ungainly thing that boxers wear - mine is very thin and practically invisible. I can do everything while wearing it except eat.
I don't have the bite guard in right now and I'm biting.
That sentence that I just typed is a perfect example of how this habit of mine is more of an addiction.
I quit gnawing every day about 100 times. I hate that it has such control over my life. I know it causes wrinkles in my upper lip and who needs more of those? I know it distorts my face and nobody wants to look at that. I actually think my self control is weaker when it comes to my lips than it is with regard to chocolate chip cookies. Now you know how serious it is.
I thought I had it licked (no pun intended) in Florida. I went two or three weeks with nary a nibble and then one day I caught myself goin' for it - failure.
In a small way (extremely small) I sympathize with smokers. I understand nail biters - my cousins in crime.
Ok, I've talked myself into it - I'll go brush my teeth and put in the mouth guard. I hate that I have to rely on it; like a crutch, but I do.
Good thing I never took up crack, eh?