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Constantly rubbing tongue against teeth

@ForeverInDreams , thanks for posting. The orthodontic wax has been a Godsend. I’ve only been using it for a few days and while it has arrested the annoying symptom, I’m still not sure if it has actually stopped the problem.

Still, it is an easy fix; simple, inexpensive and accessible.

Thanks, again.
I have been having the same problem for the last month. I had a tooth cleaning and from then on I always have the feeling that I have something in my front bottom teeth. Brushing and flossing doesn't solve anything.
Is it an imbalance in the saliva that is causing this?
In the last few days, at the end of meals, besides brushing my teeth, I have been rinsing my mouth with baking soda and I no longer feel the urgency of always running my tongue over my teeth.
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A few things I’ve learnt about this since I last posted. I have found the only thing that helps is to chew gum.
I am pretty sure it’s related to stress in my life & some of that is really unavoidable.
It appears it could be related to ADHD which is prevalent in my family however I don’t have enough problems with ADHD to warrant a diagnosis. My daughter & one of my sisters have both been diagnosed.
@toothfairy and for anyone else who is following this thread or happens upon it like I did just a few days ago by some miracle. Bless you. THERE IS HOPE!

Full disclosure: I am 35 years old and suffer from ADHD, complex PTSD, anxiety, depression, overactive saliva glands AND this bizarre condition that no medical professional wants to acknowledge or help us treat: "mad tongue", tongue sucking, tongue thrusting, "busy tongue", tardive dyskinesia, whatever anyone wants to call it...my case had gotten so completely out of control and was sucking the life out of me, no pun intended.

I suffered a severe blood clotting episode in my brain in July of 2021 which left me in an incredible amount of pain so I, and my army of physicians, dentist, and orthodontist, attributed most of my out of control tongue sucking/thrusting to a coping/soothing mechanism I had developed to help me get through my traumatic ordeal.


After stumbling on this forum, after googling every phrase I could think of that described my situation with virtually no results, I finally found this AMAZING PAGE and I had read a post where someone had shared where they simply had their ortho put their metal retainer wire back on their bottom teeth. (I had ripped mine out in a fury of tongue madness in January of 2022). This person said that is all it took to stop the insanity. So...I called and made an appointment.

GUYS, IT WORKED! I went and saw a NEW orthodontist this past Monday and plead my case (it's Wednesday night as I am writing this post)...after he reluctantly put it in, IT IMMEDIATELY stopped. My tongue was immediately at peace. No more chaos. No more panic. No more searching for things that aren't there. The wire acts as a barrier and my tongue is content. My mouth is calm, therefore my mind is calm. It is amazing. I am healing. The world is healing. I swear I am lighter and I am smiling more. It has only been 2 days!! And I swear I'm not jinxing myself. This is like, the answer.

At the end of every day before I had my retainer put back in, I felt SO exhausted, ashamed, & afraid of what all of this was doing to the integrity of my teeth, my bite, my jaw...you know the feelings. AND THE migraines, the headaches, the jaw pain. Right now I can only open my mouth 30%. I am having a splint made and will have to wear that for about 3-4 months and will most likely have to have corrective retainers made to fix shifted teeth caused by all the craziness and 2 years of doctors not listening to me when I told them this was a major issue and I needed their HELP stopping. But for now, I have my metal wire back and that is all that matters.

Do yourself a favor and do not delay. Go and DEMAND that they put some sort of semi-permanent apparatus in your mouth because our tongues need a barrier. They (our tongues) think they have some sort of job to do and they are the hardest workers known to man. It is our jobs to give them a security blanket/distraction/guard to keep them occupied and safe or else they will wreak havoc and destruction. You deserve to feel safe and sane and have your peace back. I hope this helps you. Sorry for writing so much. I hope people still read this and are able to find healing. I really, really wish that for everyone here.

And thank you to whoever posted about the metal retainer being the solution. It really always is the simplest one that is best. Isn't that Occam's Razor?

@Foonjin see my reply/post above. I hope you are feeling better and are able to get some relief soon! Putting the metal retainer back on my lower teeth has been the best decision I have made for myself in the last 5 years. I would highly suggest trying that. They can always take it out! And they can put a wire in without any tension, so your teeth don't necessarily have to be in the perfect "shape" in order to have a built in retainer. Don't let them tell you no. Demand it! I swear to you it's the best thing for people like us!
@Foonjin it definitely can and probably is very closely related to stress, ADHD and controlling those things can probably help but won't necessarily eliminate issues with the tongue --- our tongues have like 8 different muscles and are connected directly to our brains. They're essentially impossible to tire out. Meaning, even "typical tongues" don't really ever rest. So for people who suffer from our condition, it's really important that we give it something to occupy it's attention - like a metal wire - almost as a distraction, it almost grounds it, centers it, re-focuses it.

I know this sounds crazy. And I am not a medical professional. BUT - I know that I never had this issue when I used to have my retainer in 20 years ago, and then I know what life was like for the past year without my retainer, and now I know what life is like now that my retainer is back in...and I will never live without it again.
I thought I google my tongue rubbing my bottom teeth issue to see if there are other’s like me & I was shocked to see I’m not alone. Wow, so many of us more than I thought. I started having this issue about 9 yrs ago. I had gone to the dentist & he removed plaque off the backs of my bottom tooth & it was slicker than a peeled onion. I caught my self rubbing the backs of them, cause they were so slick. Now I do it unconsciously, could be stressed related I don’t know, but reading y’all’s comments made me feel better. Sorry y’all have this issue like me, but at least it is a thing we all have in common & don’t have to feel alone in. I might try some mouth guards. Is it worth buying them online for better deals?
@peggyg22 I know exactly how you have been feeling!!! It really does make you feel like you are going crazy!!! Long story short, a wonderful pharmacist listened to me. He suggested a mouth guard. It was the first time I slept through the night in a long time. I now have an occlusive guard that my new dentist made. This all started when I had a molar removed. I am so glad you are feeling better.
I have this issue as well! It first started about 3+ years ago when I had tooth #30 break off and I started constantly rubbing my tongue over it every sec of every minute of every hour of the day and it's become absolutely annoying! I'm terrified of dentist so since those teeth weren't hurting after breaking I didn't go to the dentist until the last couple of months. I had a filling in one of the teeth I was constantly rubbing with my tongue, and just had a root canal on the other. Unfortunately since the root canal (the endodontic did the root canal and shaved the enamel down in preperation for the temporary crown I'm suppose to get on October 31st) after the root canal and the swelling went down I noticed that the tooth had sharp edges so had to go back yet again and have him file them down but I'm still constantly messing with that tooth and it's causing my gums to be extremely sore. And because of my anxiety, I'm so worried this tongue obsession is going to cause my root canal to fail. I started taking anxiety meds, but they don't seem to be helping. Guess I'll speak to my dentist when I go in on the 31st and see if he has an suggestions on how to fix it that it won't cost me an arm, leg and kidney. But this is absolutely annoying and I wish I could force my brain to retrain itself to stop it.

I have been trying the gum it stops it for awhile, but so annoying to constantly have to have gum in your mouth.
Posting with relief that I’m not insane! Does anyone with these issues have scalloped tongues?? I often feel my mouth is too big or my mouth- but like it is swollen. The scraping on my teeth and my teeth are cutting it. This happens random. I’ve gotten it looked at before and it’s not thrush. I brush everyday. My breath does stink. I do have dry mouth.

When I got my tonsils out in 2020, my tongue actually was very swollen and I had real cuts on it from my teeth. Since then I feel like my tongue will decide to feel like that just randomly- maybe when I eating sweets too much. I always have the tendency to move my tongue in my mouth along my teeth and hard palate. I constantly swallow, and when my mouth is dry and I’m nervous, it gets worse. I would come off from a performance for colorguard gagging about to vomit because I had swallowed so much to the point where I couldn’t do it anymore.

I read somewhere about how your tongue should sit resting in your mouth- since then I hyper focus on this and try to make sure my tongue is resting in that place, but comfortably. Which is not comfortable. I do this for my whole body as well. I’ll feel my arm is slight too far out from my body and I have to readjust, or my neck is maybe 1/4 inch hyper extended and I have to tuck my chin. I’m never comfortable. I feel everything on my body and can instantly feel where something needs to improve or change for me to be more comfortable.

My dentist gave my a bottom clear retainer- not even an actual bite guard. I think it made it worse as my tongue constantly was getting underneath and breaking the seal, and rubbing itself against the sharp plastic.

I have to do salt water rinses to make my tongue feel less swollen in my mouth. But there’s no open wounds or ulcers, or film on top.
@peggyg22 thank you for your replies, my habit involves my back teeth, started many (25+) years ago after getting a wisdom tooth out & treatment for a dry socket. The habit came & went a few times over the years but has been pretty consistent the last 4 years or so. I have never worn a retainer or had braces. I have a partial plate due to an accident when I was young which I don’t think has caused any issues.
Not sure what the answer is as some stressors can’t be changed. Chewing gum is still my management plan for now. 😊
Hi all,
I have a fairly large gap between my two front teeth (diastema) and my tongue is obsessed with it. It’s like the tongue has a mind of its own and keeps on touching the gap and when I consciously try to stop the habit my tongue does, it starts again when I’m doing something else. Anybody know what this is? It is accompanied by some kind of lip movement (pushing lips out)
So, it seems to be that I too, have a psychotic tongue on my hands!!

I honestly, am in complete shock and literally have no words right now!!
I am so happy I found this thread and can’t believe it’s been continuously going on for like 10 freaking years now with new out of control tongues trickling in each year!
In the weirdest way I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off till I practically cried as I read each one of your posts as I scrolled on, and on, page after page at the absurdity of this issue we all seem to share!! I definitely did not expect to spend my entire night digging through information about this weird shit we got going on in all our lives that’s for damn sure!! Halfway through the thread I already knew I too would have to register on this page too, to share my OCD tongue story and was thinking what catchy username I was going to choose. I almost went with “TourettetTongue” but “TiredTongue” took the win. Although, jokes aside even though its really not funny I’m literally DEAD 😂 and still trying to process because in all honesty I never really allowed myself to fully acknowledge this as the true issue it was as well as to similarly connecting issues to the various other things almost everyone else here has been going through like now obviously OCD tendencies, substance abuse issues, depression anxiety STRESS and well we all know the list goes on. I never really let myself google anything about “that weird stuff i do for months on end every once in a while”. Probably because I never wanted to really acknowledge it or know what I was going to find out. I just preferred to semi ignore it even though it’s kinda impossible to do in all reality. That is until I decided to jump down the rabbit hole.

Well, I have always since I was pretty young probably 11 give or take would pick up on what I didn’t know at the time were OCD tendencies or possibly even Tourette’s or verbal tics or god knows what, Jesus. Not always necessarily the same one but it would come along last a few months and then go away for another extended period of time then come back and so on. Typically, and one of the ones happening now along with my bestie “TiredTongue” is this weird noise thing I do in the back of my throat. It’s not a swallow but more of like this weird “hmph” noise. I didn’t even know where to start trying to describe whatever the hell it is. And also a type of like sniffing I guess. IDK MAN. Anyway, I’ve also been through a pretty rough past couple of years.. dealt with drug issues, got in legal trouble, spent several months in jail and have been SEVERELY depressed about it all for more months after that. So definitely a lot of stress and anxiety here about just about everything. Definitely more than I’ve ever experienced before. While I was definitely experiencing stressed during my vacation away at jail it definitely increased drastically after coming back to deal with my bad choice consequences emotionally within me. So while I was in jail I remember one day realizing, okay cool this stuff went away for now and during the months I spent there and was super relaxed at having a break from the nonsense to my surprise it started back up again once I was done and having to deal with life. This is also when the tongue rubbing against the teeth started. Before I knew it I couldn’t stop and didn’t even realize I was doing it. And so ironically enough my situation initially started BECAUSE of my permanent retainer! Ugh. So I’m the opposite of those who had success getting one for solve the problem because that is what my tongue is obsessed with touching and constantly rubbing against. I thought great my luck what finally seemed to work for someone is not going to work on me. But I did however just think I could consider just removing it maybe and that could possibly help but who knows. I also don’t want my bottom teeth shifting if this damn tongue isn’t gonna have plans on chilling the F out! Plus it’s not just the retainer wire it’s actually kinda all my bottom teeth and also in between a chipped molar where I also feel like food is in there when it’s not.
I feel like I never really thought of OCD as anything super serious as my mentality of it is the lighthearted mention of it in a super casual joking way about something. So yeah this totally sucks on top of all my other hardships, this one had to pile right on along with them.
Usually, around people I try to ignore and hope they haven’t noticed any of the movements, sounds anything I’ve been doing sometimes it feels like unconsciously. I recently started Bupropion 150mg, buspirone 10mg and mirtazapibe 10mg and I’ve taken the bupropion before and really liked it and it’s already helped me a lot again so far with the depression decrease but I also feel like the OCD stuff has maybe increased since starting them or idk if I’m just focusing on it more than before. Weirdly, I did notice while reading the thread I was consciously not allowing myself to do the tongue thing and started having hope in the mind over matter idea. I’m not entirely sure what usually makes whatever episode of this stuff I’ve had in the past stop but I can definitely see how it’s definitely caused by the high stress I’m experiencing. I’ve been non stop 24/7 stressing that I feel like it’s become my norm and obviously compensating coping this way. It possibly being a tic or Tourette’s definitely freaked me out more bc I can’t imagine myself seriously being that lucky to gotten stuck with that. I feel like OCD sounds a little less daunting and severe. I also have been experiencing jaw and neck pain/ strain due to this. To say it’s exhausting is the least. I am starting a new job soon that while stressful is also exciting bc I’ve been a depressed couch potato and apparently now I can add OCD and possibly Tourette’s having. So I’m hoping that working will help more with the depression and keeping me busy this reducing stress as I get my life back to normal and hoping it can go away, until next time of course. I’m going to let this medicine combo go a little longer and see how all of that affects me and if things improve for now before I bring it up to my therapist. (I’m dreading having to explain/have that Convo with ANYONE to be honest) I’m going to feel even more nuts than I did reading the damn thread. Gonna definitely try anything mentioned on here and hope for the best. I’ll keep you guys updated. Again thanks to all of you for existing thus not letting me be the only crazy one!!!

Please come back with any available updates and info that could help!!