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Mouth Diseases

Inside the Mouth

02/08/2011

Question:

I am experiencing an uncomfortable problem inside my mouth my mouth gets irritated and it feels like I need to bite the inside of it all the time. could this be caused by medication or diabetes?

Answer:

This is a difficult question to answer. First off, have you had this problem evaluated by your dentist? And have you discussed the problem with your physician/endocrinologist?

What is the initial cause of the mouth irritation? Do you inadvertently bite your lip or cheek to cause the irritation? Or do you eat or drink something that causes it to become irritated?

Secondly, what medications are you currently taking? Prescribed or OTC or both?

You mention you are a diabetic; what medications are you on for this? Insulin or oral meds? How controlled is your HgbA1C? Do you have other symptoms such as numbness of the hands or feet or vascular disease? Do you have or are you allergic to anything?

These are some of the questions that I would ask to sort out what may be occurring. Your biting the inside of your mouth may be a diversion from the discomfort of the oral irritation (distraction) or you may be biting the inside because the oral tissues are swollen and impinging upon the plane of occlusion (biting area, and your cheek or lip gets in the way).

There is also the possibility of a psychological or behavior-driven aspect to the problem, similar to persons who chew their fingernails or hair during times of stress.

I would strongly recommend that you have this evaluated either by your primary care doctor or dentist. My major concern is that if you are a diabetic, wound healing can become a problem as would  a chance of oral infection.

For more information:

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University