Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
What does Lip twitching mean?
This means that you are having a sudden involuntary contraction of your lip muscles. It is also called lip fasciculations. It is something that can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, or gender and is a very common occurrence. It can affect your top, bottom, or both lips. Most of the time if your lip is twitching fast it may not appear to others that it is twitching although you can feel it twitching.
Symptoms of Lip Twitching
The symptoms of lip twitching are very evident. They can be felt as slight tremors which could radiate to the rest of your face as well. A person with lip twitching may also show the following symptoms:
- Having involuntary or sudden contractions of your lip muscles
- Mild palpitation like movements especially on your upper lip.
- A feeling of frozen lips or numbness
- A curling sensation of the edges of your lips
- Spasms that are repeated and occur after a gap of a few minutes
When a person experiences lip twitching it can make your lip feel like it is quivering.
Lip Twitching Causes
There are many different reasons why a person might have lip twitching that can include:
- Irritation of the facial nerve due to trauma or injury
- Stimulation of the nerve endings that is present in the muscles of your lips
- Withdrawal from alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
- A side effect of taking over-the-counter stimulants and medication
- Vent of emotions like anger, excitement, or fear
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Severe stress or fatigue
- Muscle fatigue
- A deficiency of potassium
- Lack of electrolytes
- Bell’s palsy which is a medical condition that involves the dysfunction or malfunction of the cranial nerve that is present in your facial muscles
- A viral infection such as genital herpes or a cold sore
- Excess intake of caffeine
- The cranial nerves of your facial muscles are not functioning properly
If a person has continuous or persistent twitching of the lips to could be due to some underlying serious health disorders like:
- A facial spasm or tic that can be aggravated due to stress or fatigue which can cause repeated motor movements. A tic can also involve the muscles of your face and eyes. This type will frequently occur in childhood and many times resolve on their own.
- Hemifacial spasm which can be aggravated by anxiety occurs when the facial nerve gets compressed because of a tumor. It is a nervous system disorder and affects a certain branch of nerves.
- Continual twitching can be caused by hysterical or drug induced tremors
- Tourette’s syndrome which is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary sounds and movements and in this case the lip twitching is repeatedly done.
- DiGeorge syndrome which is a gene disorder in which there is a defect in the chromosome 22 with varying conditions
- Parkinson’s disease which is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to progressive deterioration of motor function. Lip twitching can affect one or both lips and occur as rhythmical involuntary movements. In later stages of this disease the lip twitching is noticed when the person is sleeping and may continue when they are eating or talking.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which is a neurological disorder that weakens your muscles
- Hyperparathyroidism which is having a low production of the hormone parathormone by your parathyroid gland.
In some of the underlying medical conditions lip twitching can be one of many different symptoms a person has with that particular medical condition. In addition lip twitching can even occur when your lips are at rest.
When a person has lip twitching it is often overlooked but it is essential to find out what is causing and if it needs to be treated then starting treatment. Although these are not treatments for lip twitching they are some preventative measures than can help to reduce or stop the jerky movements of the lips.
- Taking proper care of the mental and physical condition of your body
- Avoiding or reducing the intake of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages
- When the twitching starts apply a warm cloth to the surface of your lips or apply pressure to your lip with your finger to stop the lip twitching immediately
- Reduce stress and fatigue by practicing stress buster exercises or yoga
- Eating a well balanced diet including foods like watermelon and bananas that are rich in potassium along with other vegetables and fruits.
To treat lip twitching the first step is to find what is causing the lip muscles to twitch in the first place. Once that is found out your physician can treat that underlying cause to help the twitching to gradually reduce and then hopefully disappear. If it is because of caffeine intake, stress, smoking, etc, then you will need to make certain lifestyle chances. Many times the lip twitching will disappear without any residual problems. Although most of the time lip twitching is not the cause for concerned but if it becomes persistent it is best to see your physician to rule out any serious underlying medical reasons for lip twitching.