Lip Biting and Oral Fibromas

by | Sep 6, 2022 | Blog Posts

Lip Biting and Oral Fibromas

Lip biting is a common habit, but it can lead to oral fibromas for some of the population. Also known as reactive hyperplasia, oral fibromas are hard, smooth bumps in your mouth that won’t go away. These are benign, but they can be irritating – or possibly alarming!

If you suffer from fibromas from lip biting, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with and what you can do about it (besides not biting your lip!) with the help of a general dentist in Webster.

What Are Oral Fibromas?

Oral fibromas are hard and smooth scar tissue.[1] They’re typically the same color as the rest of the mouth, but if they’ve bled from irritation, they can look white or dark red. Fibromas are also round and resemble a cyst, but they’re composed of connective tissue that’s firm to the touch.

Most oral fibromas are caused by trauma or irritation. Oral fibromas can appear on the tongue, lip, gums, or insides of the cheeks.

Some causes of oral fibromas include:

  • Compulsive behaviors like biting the cheek or lip
  • Excessive trauma or injury in the mouth
  • Poorly fitting dentures that rub on the cheek or tongue
  • Improperly placed dental restorations that irritate the soft tissue
  • Rubbing a cheek or tongue on a rough tooth

Some conditions, like diabetes, can put people at a greater risk of fibromas, but that doesn’t mean a healthy person can’t get them. They’re usually benign, but some severe conditions can mimic a fibroma and require testing.

The symptoms of oral fibromas include:

  • Unusual lumps or bumps in the mouth
  • Coarse surfaces on the cheeks or gums
  • White or dark patches on the cheeks or gums

If a fibroma is caused by a habit like lip or cheek biting, breaking the habit may prevent it from fully developing. If the fibroma is due to poorly fitting dentures or restorations, make an appointment with your dentist to have them corrected.

Treatment for Oral Fibromas

If oral fibromas become too unsightly or irritating, the only option is surgical removal. This is done with a scalpel or laser. With a scalpel, the removal site may require sutures and may scar, while the laser cauterizes the incision and prevents bleeding.

Because fibromas can mimic other conditions, like cancer, you may need a biopsy to confirm that it’s a fibroma. This step is important for ensuring that you’re not dealing with something more serious so that you can seek the appropriate treatment. For example, diseases like Cowden syndrome and giant cell fibroma resemble benign fibromas, so it’s important to rule out a more serious issue.

Though you may be tempted to try home remedies, these are rarely successful. In fact, some can be dangerous. There’s nothing you can do at home for this hardened tissue without the help of a dentist. If you’re bothered by a fibroma and its appearance or discomfort, it’s important to seek care from your dentist or a medical professional.

How to Prevent Oral Fibromas and Lip Biting

Once a fibroma is removed, you may be wondering how to avoid getting another in the future. Fortunately, they’re simple to prevent.

If you compulsively bite your cheek or lip, especially if you have anxiety or stress, this can lead to a fibroma. These are caused by ongoing irritation or trauma, so stopping the behavior is a good way to prevent them.

Breaking a habit like lip biting takes time, however. It’s important to recognize the behaviors and pay attention to when you’re doing them so you can stop. If you have triggers, such as stressful or anxiety-inducing situations, try to avoid them or find new coping mechanisms.

Another important step in preventing fibromas is seeing your dentist for regular checkups. During an oral exam and cleaning, your dentist can identify oral fibromas early – or possibly more serious conditions. If your dentist finds the fibroma early enough, you may be able to be more aware of your lip or cheek biting and work on stopping it before the fibroma gets bigger.

Schedule an Appointment with a General Dentist in Webster

If you have oral fibromas, or you’re starting to develop them from chronic lip or cheek biting, Empire Dental Care in Webster, NY, can help. Our progressive dental practices offer general and cosmetic dentistry to people in the Rochester area. Contact us today to schedule your appointment! 585-671-1650

Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in private and public settings for over 10 years, completing her DMD degree in 2010 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Committed to providing dental care of the highest level, Dr. Cohen relocated to Rochester in 2016 to pursue advanced dental trainings at the Dental Urgent Care Fellowship at The University of Rochester, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, graduating in 2017, and the AEGD Residency program in 2019. She recently completed an additional advanced General Practice Residency program at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany NY. This summer she moved back to Rochester with her husband Kevin, a native Rochesterian, to be closer to family. Throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Cohen has shown her genuine compassion and care to people and patients from all walks of life. She volunteered in underserved areas, practiced in clinics for patients with complex special needs, and treated medically compromised patients among others. She also taught and mentored other dentists and students helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. Most of all, Dr. Cohen’s warm personality and love of people create a welcoming, comfortable feeling for both patients and staff.