Constantly rubbing tongue against teeth

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Too Much Coffee

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Mar 1, 2020
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I joined this forum after finding this page. 6 months ago I started sucking, probing etc on my top pre-molars, it has gotten worse and worse. Eventually the nerves jangle and I cannot stop. I am planning on seeing my doc for OCD meds or something. Here are the things that have offered some help for me. They have not solved the problem, but may for someone:

Put dental wax over the offending teeth and used teeth numbing gel on them. This worked well, but once the wax is off or the gel wears off, I am back where I was.

Currently I bought a cheap night guard set on Amazon. This works great when it is on since I cannot reach the teeth. It eliminates the urge since again I cannot get to the teeth. However, once I take it off - back to where I was. It is a bit embarrassing to wear during the day as well.

Finally, relaxation and mindfullness works for short periods of time.

Yipes. Hope I can get this worked out before my teeth fall out.
 
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kapookah

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May 27, 2020
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OMG, this has been me almost every waking minute for 6+ months. I had a tooth cleaning in October and ever since, I can't for the life of me stop rubbing my tongue against certain teeth, almost to the point where I think they must have moved. My GP says it's stress blah blah blah I'm not going on meds, my prob is I don't seem to have a place in my mouth for my tongue to rest without it touching a tooth. It's sort of taking over my life.
 
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Too Much Coffee

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Mar 1, 2020
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Back again. OCD meds did not help. Had a dentist appointment (finally reopened). Good news is that I have not done damage, just slight irritation. Bad news - he was no help. Was nice enough to tell me there is nothing there, but gave me the just stop answer. I have a new and easier thing that works. I take 1/3 piece of Trident gum, chew it and with my teeth, place it over the spot I poke at. Since I cannot touch the area, I stop. Much better than wearing the night guard. Other than that, still cannot stop.
 
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kapookah

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May 27, 2020
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OMG yes, I do the same thing, I put gum over the bottom front teeth on the back since that's where I love to constantly rub my tongue against. My dentist said the same thing, and so did my physician. The only solace I get is that there are some times I don't think about it, but not many. I've tried all kind of meditation and other relaxation methods and I have no clue what is going on. The two dentists I've seen don't seem to take it seriously, they've examined my mouth and taken x-rays and they say my teeth are fine and that when I had them cleaned, the tartar that was covering the space between the tooth and the gumline was removed and the tongue didn't recognize the feeling of my actual teeth, and that should go away after a day or two... that was 7 months ago... Lol, I do feel better knowing I'm not the only one but this is ridiculous, I literally can't stop, I've been doing it the whole time I've been typing. I swear I'm considering having all of my teeth taken out at this point.
 
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jjdmomo3

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Jul 13, 2020
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Same here! It was comforting to know I’m not alone and I’ve been trying to consciously not rub the back of my teeth with my tongue but easier said than done! *sigh*
Same!!
 
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kapookah

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May 27, 2020
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3
I think I have figured out my problem. After going to another dentist and explaining that I had an intense cleaning when this all started, they said it's normal to feel the teeth that were once covered in tartar, and while most people get used to this in a few days, he had seen people who it had taken months and even years! But I realized I was getting way too much caffeine and it was causing my mouth to get dry, which apparently was making it worse. I've been trying to cut back but I'm quite addicted. I'm chewing dry mouth gum which helps until I stop, then I'm going off on my teeth. I am hopeful once I quit the caffeine it will normalize.
 
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Heidalt

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Aug 3, 2019
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"Pamelor" was prescribed by a jaw specialist and it worked for me! I was reluctant to take a drug (which is technically an anti-depressant). But it worked with minimal side effects. It sat on my shelf for a couple of weeks because I didn't want to use a drug, but desperation made me try and it worked within in a day. This combined with a pricey mouth splint (a huge mouth guard) that removes tension in your jaw seems to have helped me a lot. I was getting quite desperate as it was affecting my speech not to mention my mental well being. I encourage you to look into it.
 
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KittyRL

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Jul 21, 2020
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Like many of you, I joined this thread specifically to provide some feedback on the topic. I have has the sensation of something in between my upper two front teeth. This started early COVID shutdown when I thought I was simply remiss in my semi-annual cleaning and tartar had built up. It also felt like my teeth had shifted, which I think is possible as we age and the "ridge" where the two teeth meet in the middle seem off. At one point, my tongue was raw from seeking out this area. And before that, my teeth had felt slimy and my lips were dry. When I was finally able to visit my dentist, he brushed it off (no pun intended) and said there was nothing wrong with my teeth. So I'm constantly feeling like I get a piece of something - feels like hair or something gritty the consistency of keratin, but when i go to dislodge it, nothing is there. So here's my thinking as an armchair physician. I also was diagnosed many years ago with Fibromyalgia. Even though I don't have classic signs of it anymore (in terms of flares - muscle aches, etc), I think anxiety somehow messes with the nervous system and nerves and there is a "disconnect" between what we are feeling and the reality. I'm already on an SNRI, so that doesn't seem to be helping. I'm thinking about seeing another dentist for a second opinion, but I don't want to go through the rabbit hole and become frustrated with seeing multiple dentists or specialists. I do think anxiety plays a role in this, but I also think the tongue nerves somehow misfire to what the brain perceives. I'm wondering if a nerve medication, like Gabapentin, would help. Just speculating... I hope this passes at some point because it's very annoying - which is how all of you seem to feel....
 
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Foonjin

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Jul 28, 2020
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Like many others I found this forum & joined because I have a similar problem, I believe it’s related to stress. I have rubbed & played with my back teeth (right side of my mouth) with my tongue on & off since I was 40 years old (I’m now 66) when I had my wisdom teeth out, first R side & a few weeks later my L side(I developed dry sockets on both sides of my bottom gums). I started the habit then, I did go some years without doing it much, hard to remember now, then about 12 years ago I started a new job which proved to be relatively stressful & I had to commute. The worst time was while driving which is when it seems almost subconscious. Every so often it would just stop for a few months & then for no apparent reason it would start again.
Then I retired nearly 2 years ago & it stopped for several months again & just as suddenly started up again. It’s usually the afternoons & evenings & the only solution is chewing gum but my mouth still gets uncomfortable & my lips get dry & the Xylitol in the gum is playing havoc with my gut. Family worries are probably my main stressor.
I have also had treatment for Graves’ disease since 2014, cataract surgery 2011, thyroid eye disease & neurosurgery since 2015 & most recently IBS. Some of these are also exacerbated by stress. After seeing your posts maybe I should speak to my GP.
 
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Toothless33

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Apr 5, 2020
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4
I've always had discomfort since 2005. It started when I had a root canal. I always have discomfort. I went to every kind of specialist you can imagine. I had sinus surgery. My tongue obsesses over the tooth. I ended up taking out the crown of the tooth that bothered me and the pain moved to the other tooth in front. All over again with all the Dentists, Neurologists, they can't see anything on any xray. I ended up taking out the other tooth and the pain moved to two other teeth!!! I have seen two neurologists. I have taken Gabapetin and the other one that is almost the same. I have taken Amtryptiline. I use a nightguard. I used a horribly looking daytime splint which cost me a fortune from a TMJ specialist and nothing has worked!!! It starts in the morning with the front tooth feeling numb and in the afternoon the back molar starts bothering me and my tongue starts obsessing over the molar. By the time evening comes, I am exhausted and just want to go to bed. I am 46 years old and I have two missing teeth and they are visible! I had a bonecraft put in but the implant Dentist doesn't want to put the implants until my other teeth stop bothering me and in the mean time he has not helped me at all. If you feel a pain on any tooth or teeth and the Dentists do not find what it is, no matter what do not take out the teeth! That pain/discomfort will move to the other teeth next to those teeth. It is so ridiculous not one doctor has been able to help me. An Endodontist did like 3 more root canals on the two teeth (before I took them out) and he gave me a cheap price because he felt sorry for me that I had gone through so much but he said that if the root canals didn't work then to remove the teeth and I did and the discomfort just moved to two other teeth. It is terrible. I have a horrible quality of life. I had a really good position at a company and at first I ignored the pain but everytime I got in the car in the commute the obsession would start again. I lost my job because of COVID and I'm at home helping my kids with virtual learning. I should be relaxing that I do not have to work and the darn teeth don't let me be in peace. I have bruxism, I feel my teeth vibrate sometimes during the day. I wear a nightguard. It takes me like half an hour to explain to a dentist everything I have been through and they look at me like I'm nuts. I am wasting time because now I should be getting my implants since I'm not working but how can I do that if the other two teeth keep hurting! They have adjusted my bite a ton of times also and that never works. I even got Novacaine injections all over my face and and neck and nothing. I just advice that if this is happening to you, do not have the teeth taken out. It feels like if the pain is in those teeth but it isn't. It's not dental but no one knows what it is! If anyone has any advice, I appreciate it or if any one has what they refer on line as Atypical Ondontalgia and you are considering getting major dental work done, take my post into consideration. If they do not see it on the xrays or conebeam or whatever they call the most updated xray machines, then it is not dental and your pain will continue. Everyone stay safe.
 
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billiedevine

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Feb 2, 2021
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I have a gap in my teeth where two teeth have rotated inwards slightly and my tongue has become obsessed with it! Honestly, it's like it has a mind of its own! I am constantly pushing my tongue against the gap and running it along the crooked surface created by the rotated teeth, but it isn't a conscious thing. I have to make a conscious effort to stop it but I usually just end up doing it again once my mind is on other things. My tongue is pretty sore now, which I can cope with, but I just find the habit totally exhausting, mentally and physically, and I'm at the point of not being able to cope with that anymore. Any ideas why I am doing this and how I can stop? I feel like I need help with it but I'm not sure whether to consult a dentist, doctor or psychologist!

Hey there, i was just typing up how to figure out why i’m so addicted to doing this and why it was so effortless to the point my tongue and jaw was sore. I have tiny gaps in between my whole bottom teeth, and i constantly flick my tongue into the gap and it makes a weird sound and feeling. After this occurring a lot i found of a way to minimise it, take a finger and crunch it like a witch finger and on the big bit use that and grind over the gaps, it’s a nice sensation. After doing that try putting a tiny portion of your tongue on the bottom teeth and the top teetvh slighting holding it. So biting down on your tongue but not hard you know, it’s like your teeth are keeping the tongue there and your brain is focusing doing that other than the tongue flicking.
I hope this helped and i hope anyone sees this because it’s been a while since anyone has replied to this but i thought i was the only one with this issue like an anxiety thing maybe, but looking it up and seeing other people suffer with it i had to make an account and reply to this because this is what helps immediately.
 
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Paulinediane

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Jun 14, 2019
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What exactly is a witch finger please?


Hey there, i was just typing up how to figure out why i’m so addicted to doing this and why it was so effortless to the point my tongue and jaw was sore. I have tiny gaps in between my whole bottom teeth, and i constantly flick my tongue into the gap and it makes a weird sound and feeling. After this occurring a lot i found of a way to minimise it, take a finger and crunch it like a witch finger and on the big bit use that and grind over the gaps, it’s a nice sensation. After doing that try putting a tiny portion of your tongue on the bottom teeth and the top teetvh slighting holding it. So biting down on your tongue but not hard you know, it’s like your teeth are keeping the tongue there and your brain is focusing doing that other than the tongue flicking.
I hope this helped and i hope anyone sees this because it’s been a while since anyone has replied to this but i thought i was the only one with this issue like an anxiety thing maybe, but looking it up and seeing other people suffer with it i had to make an account and reply to this because this is what helps immediately.
 
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Flyexpat

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Feb 7, 2021
Messages
1
I literally have the exact same problem. I rub my tongue on the gap between my two front teeth, specifically the bottom of them and focus on the crookedness. It got so bad that I went and got the gap filled. It definitely helped with the obsession but I still find myself running my tongue along the crookedness years later. I believe it’s stress/anxiety related but I can’t confirmed.

I have a gap in my teeth where two teeth have rotated inwards slightly and my tongue has become obsessed with it! Honestly, it's like it has a mind of its own! I am constantly pushing my tongue against the gap and running it along the crooked surface created by the rotated teeth, but it isn't a conscious thing. I have to make a conscious effort to stop it but I usually just end up doing it again once my mind is on other things. My tongue is pretty sore now, which I can cope with, but I just find the habit totally exhausting, mentally and physically, and I'm at the point of not being able to cope with that anymore. Any ideas why I am doing this and how I can stop? I feel like I need help with it but I'm not sure whether to consult a dentist, doctor or psychologist!
 
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Ballroomblitz

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Feb 8, 2021
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So I'm not the only one! Just started fiddling with a gap in the crown and my gum, left side tooth behind my top cainine. Was a mild problem two years ago. A big problem about a year ago, after the dentist "smoothed it down" which made it a bigger gap!!! Way worse when I am working on something, like exercise, housework, gardening. I'll find that my jaw is hurting, my toung is pushed up strong against that tooth and gap and I'm am sucking on it like there's a piece of food stuck that I can't get out. This probably started because every time I eat something, there is a piece of food stuck in that spot. Twenty times a day, I floss the food out of that gap. Now, I am constantly worrying that spot and can't stop. Driving me insane.
 
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Deep Roots

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Feb 18, 2021
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I created an account just to vent about this. I’ve had this same problem for almost a year now and it’s so much worse when I’m anxious. I also have trichotillomania which is hair twirling/pulling. I’ve always had some OCD tendencies growing up but these two things got really really bad after I went off a bunch of medications last May. I was misdiagnosed bipolar and epilepsy and was on a whole cocktail of meds for 7 years before spending a week in the hospital for intense 25/7 EEG monitoring and mental evaluations...that’s when they told me I had BPD with psychogenic non epileptic seizures. Those two things aren’t treated with meds so I went off everything. One of the types of meds I was on were antipsychotics (risperdal, zyprexa)...And those meds can cause tardive dyskinesia (involuntary repetitive muscle movements) which someone mentioned above. Someone also mentioned nail biting and hair pulling in their past. I think it’s an OCD/BFRB (body focused repetitive behavior) thing and I wish I knew how to fix it. I guess I may have to go on anxiety meds because I’ve also recently started having random heart palpitations for no reason and I’m rubbing my tongue on my teeth and sore gums as we speak. I have no health insurance so I don’t know what I’m going to do but I just wanted to vent and say it feels good to at least know I’m not alone even though I’d rather no one have to suffer with this insanity.
Yes, I think me too I may have dyskinesia (involuntary repetitive muscle movements). As a child I was sucking my thumb and twirling my hair. This thread is so, so, so comforting. I will try the paper guard for the lower front teeth that someone mentioned. Somebody else mentioned throwing your head back in a “limbo” position 10 times a day. I am not sure how to do that. I will try.
 
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luciaemo

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Mar 16, 2021
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I have had this problem for about a year. I didn't know I was doing it for maybe 6 months. I kept tasting salt/or dust in my mouth last summer. Now that I understand what I am doing, I have been trying to stop for about 3 months with no success. I have tried everything mentioned on this thread- smile, chew gum, suck candy, hold a toothpick in the mouth, mindfulness( say "disengage the mouth"), pulling oil, mouthwash, eat, drink a lot of water, practice correct tongue position, say "soften the mouth", concentrate on breathing correctly, talk to myself under my breath or sing. Now I will throw my head back as that does seem effective. It is very much so, driving me crazy! Yet I refuse to let this beat me!!! I have thought about seeing a neurologist. I have stenosis in the neck and wondered if nerves from my neck are stimulating this. I also have a bad ankle and recently had surgery and wondered if the pain from my foot is causing this (stress). I have also always chewed my cuticles on my fingers, or chewed gum so it seems like maybe my mouth has an obsessive stimulation issue. I have never been successful in stopping chewing my cuticles, so I am trying now to do both at the same time now. Hopefully the muscle memory thing will kick in and the constant focus on breaking this habit will win out. It has to win out because this is really painful!!! Yes, I sometimes feel like there is hair in my mouth when there isn't, my throat begins to hurt, my jaw hurts, my tongue hurts, my face hurts, my mouth is dry, my teeth hurt and my gums are receding....all from this awful compulsive habit that started secretly hidden at first, until it was out of control. I have not been to the dentist about this, and figured that they would blow me off. I considered speaking to a speech pathologist because they probably know about this disorder and have therapy for it. I believe that each of us has what we need to heal ourselves. We can and must do this. Be kind to yourself, take time to do the needed therapy, and don't give up trying.
 
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gatoroml

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Mar 21, 2021
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In 2015 I fell on my face resulting in several root canals my right side top front tooth was one of the dead teeth that I had to get a root canal on. I had braces and now invisiline. No matter there is still a corner of that tooth that seems crooked with the rest of the teeth and slightly slanted / sharp that I can’t stop rubbing my tongue on. I don’t believe it was like this until after the tooth died. There is a small gap that i slide the tooth on and a curve on the back side corner of the tooth and it’s addictive. sometimes it feels even slightly painful or sore but I am addicted to doing it and feel like it’s so bad for my teeth but I don’t know how to stop
 
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stringrrl

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Apr 16, 2021
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I have the same issue - constantly running my tongue over the back of my lower teeth. It feels like I have huge spaces between my teeth (I don't) and feels like my teeth are flaking.
I have been brushing with Pronamel toothpaste in the hope that it will strengthen the enamel.
I have read through this whole thread and have yet to see a dentist reply - what gives? Isn't this "Ask a dentist?"
 
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Wolfie

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May 11, 2021
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Hi, I have the same problem. Something happened to me :( My teeth are crowded. I tried aligners which gave me insomnia, nausea and anxiety. I stopped after 6 weeks. Thought I would get better. But since then I am actually worse. My anxiety is horrible. I still touch lower teeth with my tongue. Cant stand crowding :( I lived with crowded teeth for years, I dont know why I have this problem now. Tongue is still there. I dont sleep well, barely eat, I wake up in the morning and first thought is teeth again :( What happened to me? Should I see psychiatrist for medicine, will it help? :(
 
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Wolfie

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May 11, 2021
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Hi, did you find a way to stop it? :(
 
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