The lip muscles would involuntarily contract causing twitching of lips. Lip twitching is not a matter of concern but it is embarrassing and disturbing for the concerned person. Direct stimulation of muscles, injury or irritation can cause lip twitching. Stress is the main factor attributed to twitching of lips. It lasts only for few seconds to minute and disappear automatically. Occasional twitching of lips is quite common for anyone but if the symptoms persist there can be residual problems which need to be checked with your doctor.
Lip Twitching Causes :
- Temporary Lip Twitching – Stress, heighted emotions, fatigue and sudden anxiety can cause twitching of lips. Deficiency of certain minerals like potassium can trigger lip twitching. High fear or anger can cause similar action. Excess drinking of coffee, tea and other stimulants and alcohol abuse can produce twitching of lips. Withdrawing of cigarette after long-term can cause twitching of lips. Any injury on the facial nerve and Tourette’s syndrome can cause this effect.
Persistent lip twitching is caused by the following diseases or conditions :
- Facial Spasm :
Facial spasm can occur involuntarily involving twitching of facial muscles and lips. This phenomenon would increase when the person is in severe anxiety or stress. In rare cases overgrowth of tumor in the face can compress the facial nerve causing lip twitching.
- Tic :
Tic is a condition that causes involuntary twitching of facial muscles, eyes and lips. Tics are common for many people and it begins in childhood and get resolved. But for some people it can continue throughout their life. Tics and muscle twitching increases when the person is under stress.
- Tourette’s Syndrome :
This syndrome would cause symptoms like nose wrinkling, involuntary movement of tongue, grimacing of mouth, mouth twitching, blinking of eyelids and clearing of throat often.
- Parkinson’s Disease :
Twitching of lips can occur involuntarily due to Parkinson’s disease. Mild tremor or jerky movement can occur in the hands, face and lips. Often such movements occur when the person is at rest and the symptoms would stop when he/she is involved in activities. As the disease progresses, tremors and twitching would occur even while resting period. Parkinson’s syndrome can cause muscle stiffness, slowed movement while walking, trembling of hands and lack of balance. The person may not be able to co-ordinate his speech and indulge in monotonous speech. Sometimes it would cause fixed facial expression without any changes in eye movement.
- Hypoparathyrodism :
It is a rare condition of very low levels of parathyroid hormone in the body. PTH hormone is involving in maintaining the vital minerals like calcium and phosphorous in the body. Hypoparathyrodism can cause tingling sensation in the lips, fingertips and toes. Some other symptoms of this disease include twitching of muscles in the lips, mouth and hands, painful menstruation, muscle aches, headache, brittle nails, loss of hair, and depression or mood swings.
- DiGeorge Syndrome :
DiGeorge syndrome is a very rare condition caused by defective chromosome 22 affecting the development of body. This rare disease can cause poor development of cleft palate, heart, and disrupted functioning of certain hormones. Some of the symptoms of this syndrome are fatigue, blues of skin, difficulty in breathing, muscle spasms in hands and legs, not gaining weight, frequent infections and twitching of lips.
- Tremor :
Essential tremor can cause involuntary movement of arms and head. The tremor occurs mostly while stretching the arms or while performing certain activities. Neurological problem is the major cause of essential tremor and for some people it may occur during resting period also. Overuse of alcohol can cause essential tremor. Taking narcotic drugs for long and withdrawal of opiate drugs can cause drug induced tremor. This can cause tremors in the head, hands, arms, face, lips and even tongue. It may persist while the person is under rehabilitation and can continue even after that. For some people tremors can occur while the person is under stress or anxiety and the symptoms disappear once the anxiety/stress reduces.
- Bell’s Palsy :
This condition can cause persistent twitching of lips. The facial nerves get injured due to some reason resulting in consistent lip twitching. This disease can cause other symptoms like difficulty in speech, facial droop, and mild tremors in hands and legs.
lip Twitching Treatment :
Lip twitching can occur in the upper lip often and sometimes it involves both the lips. Your doctor will analyze the cause and underlying medical condition before treating twitching of lips. He would check for neurological disorder and any damage of facial nerves. There is no medication available for treating twitching of lips directly. Your doctor would treat the underlying disorder for improving the symptoms.
For Bell’s palsy, tic and other neurological disorder suitable medications are prescribed to manage the signs. For hormone related problems supplemental hormone can be taken. Parkinson’s syndrome cannot be treated but medications like Levodopa and dopamine agonists are prescribed. These drugs can help in managing the symptoms of tremor, twitching and walking. The patients have to combine regular exercise and lifestyle changes with medication for getting the best outcome.
Lifestyle Changes :
- Do exercises regularly. Aerobics can help in improving the involuntary tremor of hands and mouth.
- Reduce the intake of coffee, tea and other stimulants.
- If you experience twitching of lips, place a wet cloth on the lips for few minutes.
- Avoid stress and anxiety by practicing yoga and meditation techniques.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
Note : There are people who still believe superstition about lip twitching. They associate fortune with twitching of lips and believe that receiving/giving a kiss would happen on that day.