Why Do I Bite My Tongue When I Sleep? Can I Stop It?

We have all accidentally bitten our tongues, and it is safe to say that no one can recall it as an enjoyable moment. It is another thing to bite your tongue when eating, but did you know many people also experience biting their tongue in sleep? Although this condition usually affects children, many adults also find themselves doing so. With the many risks involved, knowing what makes you bite your tongue as you sleep is better. Carry on reading to learn the possible causes.

Why do I Keep Biting My Tongue in My Sleep?

In most cases, an underlying medical condition is why people bite their tongues while sleeping. The common factors that lead to tongue biting are:


Grinding teeth during sleep is a common problem that affects many people. Known as bruxism, it can cause soreness, injury, and pain in your jaw as well as teeth. In addition, it can become the reason for tongue biting at night. Although the cause has not been identified yet, doctors think it might be associated with dreaming.

Sleep Apnea

It is common for people with sleep apnea to bite their tongues during sleep. The mouth muscles relax abnormally during sleep in this condition. Coupled with a large tongue, relaxed muscles can become a factor in biting the tongue in sleep.

Facial Muscle Spasms

Also known as facio mandibular myoclonus, facial muscle spasms are more common in children. They can lead to biting your tongue as you sleep. Not to forget, losing control over facial and jaw muscles during sleep also occurs. Moreover, facial muscle spasms might also make your chin tremble uncontrollably.

Nighttime Seizures

When a seizure occurs, people can lose control over their bodies. Epileptic seizures can also cause tongue biting. People who experience nighttime attacks usually find teeth marks on the tip and sides of the tongue.

Lyme Disease

Not much is known about Lyme disease, except that it appears to affect bodily reflexes and cause problems with the central nervous system. Consequently, you might find yourself biting your tongue or cheeks.

How to Stop Biting Tongue in Sleep?

The treatment for biting your tongue depends on the cause. Depending on the condition, the doctor might suggest lifestyle changes or any other effective treatment. Since it can lead to ulcers, bleeding, pus or lacerations, seeking medical attention is recommended. Meanwhile, you can use these tips to prevent tongue biting in sleep:

  • Go to a specialist who can conduct a sleep study
  • Wearing a mouthguard recommended by your dentist
  • Indulging in calming activities to reduce stress
  • Avoid using any illicit drugs
  • Take your prescribed medications on time

What to Do Now?

Biting the tongue in sleep can lead to ulcers, pus, and more. Bruxism, sleep apnea, Lyme disease, and nighttime seizures are among the possible causes of this condition. It is better to seek medical help and treat whatever is causing this. Our Katy Cypress Oral Surgery team is always available to address your oral health concerns. Dial (281) 667-0607 to schedule an appointment now.

Skip to content