What is Lip Twitching?
Lip Twitching is the sudden involuntary movement of the lip muscles that can occur irrespective of race, age, gender, etc. It is also known as lip fasciculation. This condition may affect the top, bottom or both the lips. Since the lips move while talking, eating, etc., it is difficult for others to observe an individual’s lips twitching. Moreover, if the twitching is fast, it is even more difficult to observe the movement.
Types of Lip Twitching
- Lower lip twitching Right side: This type indicates a nerve problem. Neurological disorders and muscle spasms could also cause the lower lip to twitch on the right side. It results in a feeling of numbness and difficulty in movement of the lips due to swollen nodes.
- Lower lip twitching Left side: Twitching could vary in the degree in which it manifests itself. It could be a minor flicker that could wear away over time or severe due to an underlying health issue. Treatment is provided keeping the severity of the situation.
- Eye and Lip Twitching: The eyes are affected by the inflammation of the sinuses because of their closeness. The effect of these inflamed sinuses reaches the area of the lips too. It could lead to twitching in either of the two lips or both the lips. Twitching of the eyes and the lips results in pressure on the facial nerves. Deficiency of potassium, fatigue, stress, lack of electrolytes, intake of alcohol or drugs, etc. are some of the possible causes for this type of twitching.
Causes of Lip Twitching
- Substance Withdrawal: Excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs, caffeine, etc. produces neuro stimulants that affect the nerves in the body. It might be related to the lip twitching experienced by some people. Sometimes, stopping the use of these substances can also cause the same condition due to a sudden decrease in the number of neuro stimulants produced in the body.
- Emotions: Sometimes people face situations when they get overwhelmed, excited or distraught and their lips may start trembling. The autonomic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system stimulate the nerve endings in the upper and lower lips. Lip twitching is accompanied by facial flushing, watery eyes, pupil dilation and speech impediment. Focusing on the emotional reason behind this condition can help to decrease lip twitching.
- Parkinson’s disease: Over time, a deterioration of the dopamine cells in the central nervous system can make the lips twitch. Other symptoms of the disease include hand tremors, problems in speech, trouble in mobility, muscle stiffness, extreme shaking, etc. In the early stages of the disease, lips may twitch when the person is neither eating nor talking.
- Hemi facial Spasm: This condition refers to a paralysis of the muscles that control facial expressions, a facial muscle contractions and twitching of the upper lip. It is supposed to be caused due to suppression of the facial nerves. Lip twitching is recurrent and can lead to fatigue. Anxiety may heighten the situation.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Twitching of the upper lip and facial muscles can be indicators of this neuro degenerative condition. Biochemical imbalances, genetic markers and auto immune disorders can also be the underlying causes. Lip twitching in such cases is indicative of gradual weakening of the muscles which leads to paralysis at the end.
- Tourette’s syndrome: The condition is also known as tics. It includes involuntary scrunching of the nose, clearing of the throat, blinking, etc. Lip twitches and movement of the facial muscles are symptoms of the syndrome. This neurological disorder may also cause involuntary vocalization of sounds, obscenity yelling, behavioral issues among other changes.
- Bell’s palsy: Twitching of the lips may occur in this condition when the facial nerves have undergone an injury or damage. One side of the face may show signs of swelling or drooping due to the twitching and individuals also face problems related to speech.
- Essential Tremors: Essential tremors are the body’s response to muscle contractions due to neurological conditions. Lip twitching is a symptom of these tremors and affects the head and extremities. People who have a family history of essential tremors are 50% more likely to be affected by it. The signs usually occur after the age of 40 but this is not a sign of old age. The situation may get worse as the person get older.
- DiGeorge Syndrome: DiGeorge Syndrome refers to a health issue that is inherited due to the absence of the chromosome 22 which causes under development of the body. Signs like witching of the lips and contraction of facial muscles can be present at birth or may develop later. Breathing difficulty, blue color of skin, fatigue, hand and leg muscle spasms are other symptoms associated with this syndrome.
- Hypoparathyroidism: Decrease in the level of parathyroid hormone in the body causes hypoparathyroidism. Lip twitching is one of the indicators of this condition. Both upper and lower lips may twitch and muscles of the hands and feet are affected. Depression, dry skin, leg cramps and brittle nails are also symptoms experienced by people facing hypoparathyroidism.
Symptoms of Lip Twitching
- Sudden involuntary contractions in the lips
- Feeling of numbness
- Spasms occur repeatedly after interval of few minutes
- Sensation of the lips curling at the edges
- Feeling of mild palpitations or movement on the upper lip
Diagnosis of Lip Twitching
- Enquiry about family’s medical history
- Enquiry about the individual’s medical history
- Measuring the sensitivity of the area where the individual experiences the tic
- Evaluation of face & necks for lesions
- Assessment of muscle tone of the bottom lip
- Listening to arterial sounds
- Checking for skeletal asymmetry in the neck region
- Blood panel to check metabolism
- Biopsy or MRI of lumps that may appear
- CT Scan
Treatments for of Lip Twitching
- Healthy Lifestyle: People must eat a balanced diet that covers the recommended dietary needs for the essential nutrients and vitamins. Drinking sufficient water is also important to keep the body hydrated and clear the system of toxins. Proper rest and set hours of sleep are subsequently needed for the body to function in a healthy way.
- Limit Harmful Substances: It has already been mentioned that the use of alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs can promote twitching of the lips. They release certain chemicals that act with the neurotransmitters in the brain and affect the physical and metal well being of individuals.
- Avoid Stress: Stress, anxiety and fatigue are considered as important factors in the twitching of lips. Keeping away from stressful situations is one of the best ways to treat this condition. Moreover, practices such as yoga, meditation and regular exercise also helps in stress relief.
When to Visit a Doctor?
Twitching of the lips is not easily noticeable by others. Therefore, people must visit a doctor as soon as they have this kind of a sensation. Lip twitching is often associated with early signs of serious health issues like paralysis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Hence it is advisable to seek medical help at the earliest.