Dang it, does your lip keep twitching?
What can it mean when a lip just won’t stop twitching? This can be very unnerving (no pun intended) for some individuals.
Not only can a twitching lip be noticeable to someone you are interacting with, but it can cause a lot of worry and anxiety.
Lip twitching is actually quite common, and I consulted with Dr. Ravish Patwardhan, MD, nationally-renowned neurosurgeon and founder of Comprehensive Neurosurgery Network LLC.
Lip Twitching Causes
Dr. Patwardhan explains: “Repeated twitching of any muscle is often related to a problem of either the muscle itself or the nerve(s) leading to that muscle.
“Examples of muscle problems include spasms (from overuse or tiredness of the muscle itself) or a condition where the nerve leading to the muscle is sometimes pushed on by an artery near the brainstem.
“An example is hemifacial spasm, where half of the face twitches, including eye and lip muscles on that side. In rare cases, seizures can cause twitching on half of the face as well.”
Before you start thinking that your lip is twitching because of a hemifacial spasm, rest assured, the vast majority of cases are caused by, as Dr. Patwardhan initially says, muscle fatigue.
In fact, twitching in the lips has the same general cause as twitching (also known as fasciculations) in the calves, arches of the feet, eyelid and even the tongue.
Any muscle, that can be voluntarily moved, is capable of sustaining fasciculations every now and then, or repeatedly throughout the day (as in eyelids and calves, though other locations can be “hot spots” for relentless fasciculations).
But because lip twitching has a unique feel, and because it occurs on the face, this can create undue anxiety in hypochondriac-prone people.
Anything having to do with the face can bring with it undue anxiety and fear.
Lip twitching can also be caused by general anxiety, or anxiety over something specific, such as a relationship, paying the bills, problems at work, etc.
Muscle fasciculations can also be aggravated by excessive worry about muscle fasciculations themselves.
This means that the more you worry and obsess about your lip, and the more you examine it in a mirror, the more likely it will twitch away.
Dehydration and a shortage of magnesium and potassium can cause fasciculations.
As for hemifacial spasm, Dr. Patwardhan says about the treatment: “An operation to put Teflon padding between the artery and nerve helps in the majority of cases.
“Treatment for spasms may require Botox. And, under severe circumstances, surgery may offer relief.”
Don’t fret if you have a twitching lip. Chances are very high that it will run its course and settle down before you know it.
This oddball symptom is not a sign of degenerative neurological disease. Talking will most likely bring some remission to the fasciculations.