You’re sitting in your chair at home, minding your own business, when suddenly you feel —why are my lips twitching?5 possible reasons Or maybe your chin or cheeks or nose is making strange movements that you can’t control. How can this be? There are a few different possible causes of muscle twitching in the face and mouth. Here are five of them and what to do about each one.
- Benign Essential Tremor
- Sleep Apnea
- Anxiety or Stress
- Thyroid Issues
- Parkinson’s Disease or Other Neurological Disorders
1. Why Are My Lips Twitching-Benign Essential Tremor:
Essential tremor is a form of movement disorder in which you experience involuntary shaking. Although essential tremor is typically not dangerous, it can be incredibly distracting and embarrassing for many people who have it. Fortunately, there are several treatments available. If your essential tremor causes any difficulty with daily activities or social situations, visit your doctor to discuss these options. Since it’s one of many potential causes for mouth twitching and facial tics, let’s take a look at some other possible causes that may be contributing to your facial twitching. Stress: Stress is one of those things that often gets blamed for just about anything uncomfortable, so it’s no surprise stress has been cited as a cause of twitches. When you’re stressed out or worried about something, your body experiences elevated levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine), two hormones that affect muscle activity—including facial muscles like those around your mouth and eyes. Dryness: A lack of moisture on your skin could also be responsible for an increase in lip-twitching symptoms. That’s because when you’re dehydrated (and especially when you’re on certain medications), water evaporates more quickly from your body — including from within your skin cells.
2. Sleep Apnea:
Sleep apnea is a serious, often overlooked condition that can cause symptoms like loud snoring, breathing problems during sleep, and waking up with a dry mouth. Untreated sleep apnea is also linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. If you notice your lips moving or face twitching while you sleep—and it bothers you enough to wake you up—you should see your doctor. Snoring may not be as simple as it seems—it could be an indication of something much more serious, such as sleep apnea.
3. Anxiety or Stress:
Stress and anxiety are both common triggers for mouth twitching. Anxiety can be caused by many things, but whatever its source, it’s associated with a significant amount of tension in your body. That tension could affect your nervous system or lead to involuntary movements that cause lip and mouth twitching. If you suspect stress might be triggering your twitching, try taking some time to relax, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and make sure you’re getting enough nutrients (many people develop anxiety disorders because they aren’t consuming an adequate amount of protein).
4. Thyroid Issues:
Thyroid disease is a common cause of mouth twitching, as well as muscle twitching in general. That’s because people with thyroid disorders are often fatigued and suffer from a slow metabolism. In addition to looking at your thyroid, it’s important to consider other medical conditions or health problems that could be causing your twitches. Ruling them out (or ruling them in) can help you know where to go next. For example, if you have myasthenia gravis, you will likely be treated with medicine and/or surgery before considering a root cause like stress or diet.
5. Parkinson’s Disease or Other Neurological Disorders:
People with Parkinson’s disease, as well as some with other neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, frequently develop a condition known as masked facies. People with masked faces have normal facial expressions and muscle control on one side of their face but not on another. This causes their lips to twitch or move involuntarily because one half of their mouth has more muscle tone than the other. Of course, twitching lips isn’t a definitive sign of Parkinson’s; it could just be caused by stress or fatigue, too. But if your mouth keeps doing weird things when you’re stressed out or tired, schedule an appointment with a doctor to get things checked out. It couldn’t hurt!