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12 Reasons Your Lip Is Twitching

Lip twitching can be caused by something as simple as drinking too much caffeine. Learn the symptoms, so you know when to seek medical care. Lip twitching is when your lip shakes or trembles uncontrollably. It develops when the muscles of the lip involuntarily move, usually due to some kind of muscle-related condition. A lip twitch is often quick and feels like a quiver.Read on to learn

  • Posted on 26th Apr, 2022 12:45 PM
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Lip twitching is when your lip shakes or trembles uncontrollably. It develops when the muscles of the lip involuntarily move, usually due to some kind of muscle-related condition. A lip twitch is often quick and feels like a quiver.

Read on to learn more about what causes lip twitching and what you can do about it.

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What Causes Lip Twitching?

There are many causes associated with lip twitching.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a drug found in coffee, tea, some snack foods, and soft drinks. When a person consumes too much caffeine, they can develop caffeine toxicity.

Symptoms of caffeine toxicity include irritability, anxiety, tension, and tremors. The tremors that develop because of too much caffeine can present in the lips.

Medication

Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, which are drugs designed to lower inflammation, can cause the muscles in your face to twitch uncontrollably. When small muscle fibers are affected by contraction, it is referred to as fasciculation.

Other medications that can cause fasciculation include:

  • Drugs designed to treat muscle diseases, such as Neostigmine
  • Medication used to treat short-term paralysis, also known as succinylcholine
  • Medications used to treat mental health disorders, such as Nortriptyline and lithium
  • Migraine prevention drugs, such as Flunarizine
  • Certain antibiotics, such as Isoniazid

Lip Twitching and Medication Use

Treatment for lip twitching driven by medication isn’t always necessary. However, if a person wishes to stop it, they can speak to their healthcare provider about changing medications.

Potassium Deficiency

Potassium is a mineral that acts as an electrolyte. Electrolytes aid in nerve signaling throughout the body so that the brain can communicate with other areas.

When a person doesn’t have enough potassium, this messaging system can be disrupted and lead to muscle spasms and twitches.

Alcohol and Drug Neuropathy

Neuropathy is the medical term for nerve damage. Heavy alcohol and drug use can lead to nerve damage throughout the body. When the nerves become damaged, signaling between the brain and body is negatively affected. Because of that, muscle twitching can develop anywhere in the body, including the lip.

Stress and Mood Disorders

Being under excessive amounts of stress can lead to movement disorders that cause muscle spasms or twitches anywhere in the body, including the face and lip. When lip twitching occurs because of stress or other mood disorders, it is often referred to as a psychogenic condition.

Lip Twitching As a Sign of Excessive Stress

If you are coping with high levels of stress but have managed to keep it at bay, lip twitching could be a sign that you need to take a break or practice some stress-relieving activities.

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes the facial muscles to become weak or paralyzed. Lip twitching is a rare complication of the condition as it is most commonly associated with other symptoms.

Hemifacial Spasms

Hemifacial spasms manifest as muscle spasms typically occurring on only one side of the face. They can be caused by an artery compressing a facial nerve, damage to a facial nerve, or a tumor compressing the nerve.

Past Trauma to the Facial Nerve

Similar to hemifacial spasms, lip twitching can develop following trauma to the facial nerve. This trauma could happen to the brain stem, the area at the base of the brain that connects to the spinal cord. Damage to this area could damage a facial nerve, leading to lip twitches.

Face Muscle Injury and Lip Twitching

Facial nerves can also be damaged by an injury to the face muscles. When that happens, signals between those muscles and the brain can become skewed, leading to twitches.

Tourette's Syndrome

Tourette's syndrome is a type of movement disorder that causes a person to make sounds or movements repetitively and uncontrollably. These movements are referred to as tics. Tics can present as involuntary lip twitching and other lip movements.

Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease is a type of brain disease that hinders the function of both the nerves and spinal cord. When a person develops ALS, they often present with facial twitching that occurs across the entire face, including the lips.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects various areas of the body. One of the first symptoms of the disease is muscle tremors in the lower lips.

Hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism is a hormone disorder that occurs when parathyroid glands, which are oval-shaped glands in the neck, produce too little parathyroid hormone. The parathyroid hormone is vital to the release, absorption, and storing of calcium in the body.

When hypoparathyroidism develops, the body’s calcium levels become too low, and phosphorus levels become too high. This leads to tingling or numbness in the toes and fingers, as well as around the lips. It can also cause muscle spasms and twitches to occur in the face including the lips.

Lip Twitching Severity

Lip twitching can be harmless. However, it can be a sign that you may have a serious health condition, as is the case with some causes mentioned above. If you experience lip twitching, ask your healthcare provider for an evaluation in case it is driven by a more severe health disorder.

How Is Lip Twitching Diagnosed?

A physical exam is the first step in diagnosing lip twitching because it can typically be seen with the naked eye. Your healthcare provider will also list any other symptoms you're experiencing, your health history, and your lifestyle habits.

Further tests, such as an MRI, may be performed if there is no clear cause following a physical exam and symptom collection.

When diagnosing lip twitching, the main focus will be determining the cause so that it can be treated appropriately.

How to Stop Lip Twitching

Treatment for lip twitching will depend greatly on what is causing it. Because of this, there is a plethora of treatment options available to you.

For example, if your lip twitch is caused by a potassium deficiency, getting more potassium in your diet through bananas, spinach, or avocados can help remedy the symptom.

In other cases, such as with hemifacial spasms, Botox may be a viable option to help stop the lip twitching.

Some at-home remedies you can try include limiting your caffeine or alcohol intake and applying pressure to the affected area. You should see your healthcare provider if you are concerned about the lip twitching or simply want it gone.

When Is Lip Twitching an Emergency?

Lip twitching that develops suddenly or is accompanied by symptoms, such as weakness, dizziness, or numbness on one side of the body, is a cause for concern. You should seek immediate medical care if these symptoms present alongside your lip twitch.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Lip twitching on its own may not be a cause for concern. However, you should see your healthcare provider if other symptoms are present that were not there before the lip twitching began or if you have improved your potassium intake and reduced caffeine and alcohol consumption and have not seen improvement in the twitch.

You can also opt to see your healthcare provider if there are no other symptoms, but the lip twitching does not go away and is causing your stress or interferes with your daily life.

Summary

Lip twitching occurs when you experience uncontrollable lip movement. It is often due to muscle-related or neurological disorders, but can be due to other things like potassium deficiency or caffeine intake.

Lip twitching and its underlying cause can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider based on the appearance of the symptom and other testing. Treatment includes treating the underlying cause.

A Word From Verywell

Having your lip twitch uncontrollably can be both annoying and worrisome. The good news is that it isn’t always concerning. In many cases, you can remedy the situation at home by limiting how much coffee or alcohol you drink, avoiding the use of drugs, and improving your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much caffeine is too much?

    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is a cap on how much caffeine a healthy adult should consume on a daily basis. Anything over 400 milligrams should be avoided.

  • How much calcium a day should you get?

    Calcium needs vary depending on age and sex. For example, adults aged 19 to 50 should get no more than 2,500 milligrams per day, whereas those older than 51 should get no more than 2,000 milligrams per day. Those numbers are the top amount, and the optimal amount for daily calcium intake for healthy adults is 1,000 milligrams for men and 1,200 milligrams for women.

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