A neurological disorder causes a twitch in your lip. Your lips are controlled by nerves that branch out from the facial nerve. When these nerves are irritated or damaged, they can cause a twitch in the lip.
The trigeminal nerve branches out to all face parts, including your lips.
Understanding Lip Twitching
Lip twitching is a common occurrence and does not indicate any disorder. In most cases, it is benign and does not need to be treated or looked at by a doctor. The exact cause of lip twitching is unknown.
Experts believe that it could be due to:
- Muscle spasms in the face, related to other conditions such as facial dystonia, which causes uncontrolled muscle contractions that affect the muscles around the eyes and mouth; or tics such as blepharospasm, which involves involuntary blinking of the eyes
- A sensory twitch, where muscles twitch due to stimulation from the senses. This may be caused by touch or something seen or heard; this form of twitch can sometimes be triggered when someone bites their lip or cheek hard
- Migraines – Some people experience mild facial twitches before experiencing a migraine attack; however, these are different from tics and are generally more severe than the typical lip twitch
- Stress – Some people experience tiny muscle twitches in their face when under stress; this form of twitch is usually harmless, but if accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea or sweating, it may be worth seeking medical advice from your GP.
There are also other reasons why your lips could twitch. Let’s take a look at those below.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause lip twitching in some people. It does this by blocking the effects of adenosine, which is a chemical in your brain that makes you sleepy. When you drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, it keeps the adenosine from entering your brain and making you feel sleepy.
If you drink too much coffee, it can make you feel anxious and stressed which can also cause lip twitching.
One possible cause of lip twitching when on certain medications is that the medication may stimulate the nerves in your face. This can cause you to have involuntary muscle spasms in your lips, which can lead to lip twitching.
Some medications that have been known to cause this reaction are antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and narcotic painkillers.
Lip twitching can also be a result of potassium deficiency. The symptoms of potassium deficiency include excessive thirst, muscle cramps, and constipation.
Potassium can be found in foods such as bananas, mangos, potatoes, and spinach.
One symptom of alcoholic neuropathy is lip twitching. When a person with alcoholic neuropathy drinks alcohol, the alcohol will affect nerves that control muscle movement.
This can lead to lip twitching as well as other symptoms like muscle cramps or spasms.
Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes muscle weakness on one side of the face. This can result in difficulty moving the affected side of the mouth, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, and also can cause lip twitching
Hemifacial Spasms and Tics
Hemifacial spasms are involuntary contractions of the facial muscles. They are caused by an injury to the seventh cranial nerve. The main symptom is spontaneous, sudden contractions of one side of the face which can cause the mouth to turn up on one side (a hemiface spasm) or make one eye close (blepharospasm).
Other symptoms include an inability to chew food on one side of the mouth, involuntary blinking, and uncontrolled movements of facial muscles. Hemifacial spasms can be treated with medications to relax the facial muscles, Botox injections to paralyze the muscles or surgery. It is also known to cause a lip twitch.
One possible cause for a lip twitch is Tourette syndrome. This neurological condition causes involuntary movements and vocalizations, which can include lip twitching.
A person with Tourette syndrome might experience this symptom in the form of uncontrollable lip movements, but the type of twitching could also be in the form of blinking or tongue movements.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. It is caused by the loss of neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain. This region produces dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps control movement.
When Parkinson’s disease progresses, dopamine-producing cells die and symptoms start to show. Parkinson’s disease causes lip twitching because it affects nerve cells, which are responsible for muscle movement.
DiGeorge syndrome causes lip twitching. It can be inherited, or in the case of DiGeorge syndrome, it is acquired during fetal development. A person is born with DiGeorge syndrome if they have a deletion in chromosome 22.
The deletion in chromosome 22 causes disruptions in thymus development. This leads to a lack of T cells which will attack any foreign body, including infection. A person with DiGeorge syndrome also lacks B cells which are needed for antibody production.
The immune system of a person with DiGeorge syndrome is compromised due to the lack of T and B cells which can lead to illness and infections.
Hypoparathyroidism is a condition where the parathyroid gland does not secrete enough parathyroid hormone. This condition can be caused by trauma or surgery, or it may occur spontaneously.
Lip twitching is a common symptom of hypoparathyroidism that typically starts in the lower lip and spreads to the upper lip, but can affect other areas as well. Other symptoms of hypoparathyroidism are muscle cramping, muscle spasms, tingling sensations, and tremors.
Lip twitching is a condition that can be caused by stress, anxiety, and depression. More often than not, lip twitching is a result of tension or stress in your body. You may not even be aware of the tension in your body and after a few minutes of lip twitching, it will stop on its own.
If you start to notice lip twitching on a regular basis, it may be an indication of anxiety or depression. It can also be a sign that your health is declining and you need to see a doctor. Lip twitching can be caused by many things, ranging from poor nutrition and dehydration to thyroid issues.