You'd think that your ability to eat and talk would remain about the same if you were healthy, but sometimes you can find yourself unexpectedly biting your lip or the inside of your cheeks while moving your jaw. There are a number of possible causes behind this, some of which are straightforward and others which may take some work to deal with. See if any of the following situations have been happening, and talk to your dentist if you still have trouble identifying what's behind the bites:
Tooth Movement and Bite Change
Even as an adult, your teeth can move a bit and your bite can change over time. This is especially true if you clench your teeth a lot or grind them -- the pressure can make the teeth move. As a result, you end up catching your lip or cheek interior with your teeth. In this case, see your dentist about addressing the clenching and possibly getting a night guard. You may also have to talk to an orthodontist about moving the teeth back into place.
Cheek Swelling or Growth
It is possible that your cheeks have swelled or grown in size. One possibility is that you've gained weight. Bigger cheeks mean more opportunities for your molars to catch and bite them as you chew or talk. Another cause could be a small infection that is enough to cause part of your cheek to swell, especially if you've been biting your cheeks for a while. If you have not gained weight recently, you may want to ask your dentist to check the insides of your cheeks for potential infection.
Moving Your Jaws Too Fast
One more potential cause of cheek and lip biting is simply moving your jaws too quickly. Maybe you're chewing so fast that you get a little clumsy, or you're trying to talk and chew at the same time, so your tongue, lips, and cheeks are all getting in the way of your teeth. If you think this is the cause, slow down! Take smaller bites, don't chew while talking, and let people who try to make you talk know that you've been having issues with biting your cheeks and lips. Most people are pretty understanding about wanting to avoid bites.
If none of these seem to be the issue, call your dentist. You're definitely not the only one who's ever had this problem, and your dentist can help you find a solution. Contact a dental office like Edens Greg DMD for more information and assistance.