Lips are structures present at the opening of the mouth and the tissue comprising it is made of nerves, blood vessels and muscles. Both the upper and lower lip is surrounded by a muscle called orbicularis oris encircling the opening. At times, involuntary tightening of the muscle or contraction may occur which is beyond our control even if we have healthy nerves.
What is meant by upper lip twitching?
The surrounding areas of the mouth and lips experience small muscle contractions. Lip twitching is a sudden involuntary contraction of the muscles present in the upper or the lower lips. The muscle tightening can happen to any of the lips at a time or both the lips together due to some irritation in the muscle supply by the nerves present around the lips. Twitching of lips can occur for seconds, minutes or more.
It feels like trembles, spasms or local movements of the lips. If this continues repeatedly, then it may turn out to be a long-term ailment or may be the cause of a severe underlying medical condition. Lip twitching is also termed as lip fasciculation and may occur to anyone of any age, race or gender.
Left Upper Lip Twitching & Right upper Lip Twitching
If left upper lip twitching is felt, then the affected person may suffer from a nervous problem on the left-hand side of his or her lips. Various neurological diseases might be the cause for this.
Again, right side lip twitching may occur due to some nerve disorders on the right side of the face. This occurrence might be due to an injury to the facial nerve on the right side.
Symptoms of upper lip twitching
Twitching of lips may have significant symptoms and are often felt as soft tremors that may travel to the rest of the face too. Some of the signs are:
- Sudden involuntary muscle contractions in lips
- Mild palpitations or movements on the upper lip
- Freezing or numbness in lips
- Edges of lips may feel a curling sensation
- Repeated spasms occurring at frequent intervals within a few minutes
- Quivering on the lips
- Abnormal feeling on the lips
Causes for upper lip twitching
Several underlying causes reflect in twitching of the lips:
- Any trauma or injury may irritate the facial nerve and twitching
- Stress is directly related to the worse conditions for lip twitching
- Nerve ends present in the lip muscles begin to stimulate
- Quitting alcohol, drugs and cigarettes may cause twitching
- Adverse effects due to various stimulants and medications
- Release of deep emotions like anger, excitement or fear
- Feeling anxious or nervous
- Extreme fatigue
- Potassium deficiency
- Muscle fatigue
- Lack of electrolytes mainly hypokalemia
- Excessive consumption of caffeine
- Viral infections
- Malfunction of cranial nerves present in facial muscles
- Withdrawal of cocaine, heroin or amphetamines
- Herpes simplex infection in lips
- Hemifacial Spasm
- Side effects of medicines for neurological treatment
Severe Health Conditions
- Viral infection caused by Bell’s palsy
- Hyperparathyroidism causing low levels of parathyroid hormone and low levels of blood and bone calcium
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette’s syndrome causing tics due to genetic neurological disorders
- DiGeorge Syndrome causing underdevelopment of body
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis due to death of neurons in brain and spinal cord
- Essential tremors in lips affecting head and extremities due to neurological dysfunction
Treatment for upper lip twitching
Although it is difficult to ascertain a specific treatment, some treatments have been beneficial for specific cases of lip twitching. Usually, neurological disorders and diseases of the brain are responsible for this condition, so they must be treated. But in most cases, people who suffer from lip twitching often ignore the condition, but this should be noted and taken care.
Doctors mostly prescribe medications for mild conditions of lip twitching. However, this cannot be treated but can be prevented by some natural ways and measures. They include approaches for reducing or sometimes stopping the movement of the lips thereby preventing twitching.
Natural remedies for treating upper lip twitching
Mostly, lip twitching can easily be cured through changes made in the daily course of life. Dietary changes and changes in habit may help to reduce further worsening of the condition:
- During each episode of twitching, press fingers to the lips
- When twitching begins to cover the surface of the lips with a warm cloth to stop it
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle and take proper care of the body
- Take appropriate care of mental and physical health of the body
- Maintain a well-balanced diet and nourishment for the body
- Have an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals
- Get adequate sleep
- Reduce stress and avoid excessive work that tires the body
- Exercise and remain energetic
- Have a glass of warm milk with honey mixed in it
- Have plenty of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and magnesium-rich foods
- Eat lots of green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils for potassium intake
- Have more amounts of watermelons and bananas
- Cut down on coffee or other caffeinated drinks
- Limit alcohol intake
- Reduce levels of stress
- Ad more amount of ginger in your diet
- Apply herbs like chamomile, lavender and essential oils to relieve stress
- Meditate and practice yoga to reduce anxiety
- Reduce intake of stimulants
- Behavioral therapy to reduce lip twitching
- Psychotherapy is not a bad option if caused by mental illness
- Restrict neuro-stimulating substances
When to call the doctor?
In most cases, lip twitching is considered harmless and disappears causing no residual problems. They tend to occur and then resolve on their own to people more prone to stress, and as a result, this twitching of lips arise in them at frequent intervals.
But in some cases when lip twitching becomes persistent and chronic, it is best to refer to a doctor to detect if any serious underlying medical condition is present. If other symptoms appear with lip twitching like muscle weakness, drooping of the face or visionary problems or any neurological disorders, then a doctor must be immediately consulted.