Also known as lip fasciculation, lower lip twitching refers to sudden and involuntary abnormal contractions of the bottom lip muscles. It can also occur due to injury, irritation, or direct stimulation (electrical, heat, pressure, or chemical) of the nerves that supply to the muscle fibers of the lip.
Even though bottom lip twitching can be annoying and irritating, it is usually caused due to minor reasons such as fatigue, increased caffeine consumption, stress, emotions, or deficient potassium intake. In some cases, it can also occur due to serious underlying conditions like Bell’s palsy or DiGeorge syndrome, etc.
Lower lip twitching is typically a self-limiting condition that disappears on its own after a few minutes or some days without causing any side effects. However, patients who experience persistent lip fasciculation and associated chronic symptoms need to consult a doctor to check for any pre-existing conditions.
Symptoms of lower lip twitching
Bottom lip twitching may be felt as minor tremors of the lip, which may sometimes spread to other areas of the face. Some of the common signs and symptoms that accompany lower lip twitching are listed below:
- Spontaneous and unexpected contraction of the lower lip muscles
- Spasms that occur repeatedly after a gap of some minutes
- Sensations of frozen lip, numbness of the bottom lip
- Minor palpitation-like motions of the lower lip
- The edges of the lip may elicit curling sensations
Causes of lower lip twitching
Sudden contractions of the lower lip muscles can cause bottom lip twitching. It may occur due to the following causes:
- Withdrawal from cigarettes, drugs, and/or alcohol; increased intake of sodas, chocolate, coffee, or caffeine pills; facial nerve irritation; electrolyte deficiency; muscle fatigue; stress or nervousness; and emotions like extreme anxiety, anger, excitement, or fear can occasionally cause lower lip twitching.
Consistent or chronic bottom lip twitching may be caused due to the following underlying conditions:
- Bell’s palsy: It is a condition marked by damage of the facial nerves due to varied causes. The disorder is a common cause of persistent lower lip twitching. Patients may also experience additional symptoms such as facial swelling, speaking problems, and facial droop.
- Tremors: Another reason for steady bottom lip twitching is hysterical tremors or essential tremors. The latter is often triggered by increased stress, while the former is mainly caused due to drug abuse or excessive use of varied drugs. Patients may additionally suffer from contraction of the muscles present in other parts of the body.
- Facial spasms: People may sometimes suffer from prolonged twitching of the lower lip due to spams or tics. Contractions of the muscles may occur due to hemi facial spasms which in turn are often triggered by fatigue or anxiety. It can also occur due to increased pressure exerted by a tumor on the facial nerve, or the spasms may have no known causes.
- Parkinson’s disease: The condition is characterized by tics and tremors across different areas of the body, including the lower lip. It features dysfunction of the cells that secrete dopamine. In addition to lower lip twitching, patients may suffer from symptoms such as shaking of the extremities and hands, and speech slurring, etc., as well as neuro-degeneration associated abnormalities.
- Ticks: A facial tic affect the muscles of the face, lips, and eyes can also result in bottom lip twitching. Patients will elicit recurrent spasms when affected by tics. In most cases, tics tend to improve and resolve with age. It however worsens with increased stress.
- Hypoparathyroidism: The condition is marked by insufficient levels of parathormone which then triggers a reduction in the calcium levels and a rise in phosphorus in the body. Additional symptoms include muscles spasms that affect the left or right side of the lower lip, the face, or the mouth.
- DiGeorge Syndrome: It is a genetic disorder characterized by a defect in chromosome 22, wherein many body systems feature poor development, including cleft palate, cardiac defects, impaired parathyroid glands function, and behavioral issues. Symptoms may be visible since birth or they may develop later. A few symptoms include lower lip twitching, breathlessness, bluish skin, easy fatigue, lack of weight gain, legs or hand spams, mouth muscle twitching, and frequent/recurrent infections.
- Tourette’s syndrome: It is another common cause of bottom lip twitching. It is a neurological disease marked by involuntary movements and sounds that are done repeatedly.
Treatment of lower lip twitching
Recurrent and prolonged cases of lower lip twitching need to be checked by a doctor for diagnosis of the underlying causative condition and relevant treatment.
Mild cases of bottom lip twitching can be alleviated by following the below listed guidelines:
- Application of a wet, warm cloth on the lower lip when it twitches will help resolve it
- Avoid or limit the consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages
- Stress and fatigue can be alleviated via meditation, yoga, and other exercises.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet, including potassium-abundant foods such as watermelons, bananas, etc.