Biting tics

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Please note: Articles on lived experiences can be a trigger for those with tics, OCD and anxiety disorders. Articles are intended to show we aren’t alone, and that help can improve quality of life.

Biting is a tic that presents itself often within the community. It can involving biting body parts such as fingers and hair, objects or clothing.

chattering teeth wind-up toys displayed as art work on a pink wall

A little insight from Sam– the editor of Dealing with Disorder:

Biting tics were one of the first tics I can remember. When I was still sleeping in my parents bed, I kept feeling an urge to get out of bed and bite the carpet. I had to. I hated the sensory feeling of the carpet when I did it, but that only made the urge stronger

This also manifested when I would wear a woolly jumper. Biting my sleeve was such an awful sensory feeling- similar to nails on a chalkboard- but this only made the tic worse.

I now realise how common biting tics are, and they consist of biting pretty much anything.

Biting is a motor tic

The action is movement based, and therefore classed as motor.

There are a million and one ways that both motor and vocal tics can occur, some of these are highlighted in the articles below. 

Motor and Vocal tics: Related articles.

Is biting a simple or complex tic?

A quick act would make this a simple tic, according to the current definition.

This may be considered complex in the example given above, consisting of getting out of bed and being part of a larger pattern.

Main article: The difference between simple and complex tics

Specific tics may be better described as Tourettic OCD, in which tics are carried out to rid unwanted thoughts, or until they feel ‘just right’ without a sensory urge to do so.

What to look out for

This tic can bring on pain, and risk damage to teeth. Teething, toothache or a new tooth coming through may be a sensory trigger for biting tics, sometimes worsening the situation.

Stress and embarrassment is not uncommon with such tics, especially in social or public spaces.

Is this caused by Tourette syndrome?

This could be the case, diagnosis has to come from a medical professional and depends of the frequency and nature of the tics.

Main article: The difference between Tourette and other tic disorders

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DISCLAIMER: Articles contain lived experiences, but cannot be used to diagnose. Medical advice can only come from trained professionals. 

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Dealing with Disorder was created by a sufferer, struggling to find information to help manage the conditions.