What Causes Lip Twitching?

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  • Written By: Sarah Sullins
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2018
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Lip twitching is caused by involuntary, sudden muscle contractions in or around the lips. These contractions can be caused by irritants that affect the nerves in the lips or may be stress induced. Injuries to the nerves can also result in twitching, and at times, the nerves in the face do not work the way they are supposed to and will cause the muscles in the lips to contract.

When a lip twitches, the muscles in or around the area contract, making the lip feel like it is quivering. If the twitching is fast, the lip may not appear to be twitching to observers, but it may still be felt. Some conditions make the contractions more noticeable to others and may be accompanied by other symptoms.

Withdrawal from substances such as alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes can cause a person to experience lip twitching. Substances that contain stimulating products, like sodas, coffee, chocolate, and caffeine pills, can produce muscle contractions if they are taken in excess.

Emotions can often trigger lip muscle contractions. People sometimes experience this when they have strong feelings of anger, fear, joy, or amusement. It can also occur with extreme fatigue, as well as stress and anxiety.


Essential tremors may also cause twitching, as can hysterical tremors. In general, these types of tremors affect not only the lips, but other areas of the body as well. An essential tremor is most often caused by stress, while hysterical ones occur when a person uses too many drugs or consumes too much alcohol.

Sometimes, a medical condition can contribute to the development of lip twitching. Bell’s palsy is a condition that affects the nerves in the face and will often lead to twitches. With this condition, other symptoms may also be present like facial swelling, difficulty speaking, and a droopy face. Another problem that may produce muscle contractions is a lack of potassium in a person’s diet.

A twitching lip may only be an annoying side effect that some people have to deal with, but at times it may be a symptom of a much larger issue. When these contractions occur regularly and are a constant problem, it may be an indication of a medical issue that must be treated by a professional. A persistent twitch may be caused by hypoparathyroidism, Tourette’s syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome, or even Parkinson’s disease. In these cases, the twitching may be only one of a number of symptoms.


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Post 12

My bottom lip twitched and stopped, then the side of my nose started. Any ideas?

Post 11

I have a weird twitch that I can't find any information about online. If I look all the way to the right with just my eyes, then quickly look left (not moving my head at all) the top left part of my lip twitches for a second. It's not any inconvenience or anything; it's just strange, plus I can't find any information about it. I'm curious, does anyone share this phenomenon, or at least have any idea what is causing it?

Post 10

Hyperparathyroidism: something you would never, ever even think about!

Post 9

@ysmina – I think that stress is one of the most common lip twitching causes. I had extreme lip twitching while going through a really rough period in my life.

My dog died, and right after that, my best friend at work left. I felt friendless and abandoned, and I had to take on a lot more responsibility while training the new guy. I had never had so much sadness and stress heaped upon me all at once, and my body reacted in strange ways.

My eyes, nose, and lips started twitching, and they continued to do this all day long. I could feel the corners of my mouth twitching downward, and this reflected the perpetual frown I wore on the inside.

I could not stop it, and that was so frustrating. The twitching bothered me, but until I got through the period of extreme grief and the new guy began to share my workload, it continued.

Post 8

One of my coworkers had Bell's palsy, and she had lip spasms that ranged from severe to light twitches. One whole side of her face drooped, and it took over a month for her to regain the use of the right side of her face.

Post 7

Twitching muscles are so annoying! However, sometimes the cure is as simple as eating a banana every day.

If your twitching is caused by a poor diet or a lack of potassium in your diet, a daily banana can do wonders for you. I eat one with breakfast each morning, and I no longer have lip twitches or muscle cramps.

Post 5

What are the causes for muscular twitching? Is it usually nerve related or emotional? Are muscle relaxants a good treatment for this?

Post 4

@ysmina-- Maybe that's what I need to do. I didn't see a psychiatrist, just my family practitioner who didn't help at all. It's supposed to go away on it's own but the twitching is getting worse. I guess it doesn't help to think about the twitching either.

Post 3

@Mor-- Absolutely. I've recently started experiencing involuntary bottom lip twitching. I went to a psychiatrist who diagnosed it as resulting from stress and anxiety and prescribed anxiety medication for me.

Until this, I never realized how connected our mind and bodies are. I used to always think of them as separate systems working in different ways but that's not true. Our mind's experiences get reflected on our body as well. When we're stressed, worried or sad, it's not just our psychology that suffers. Our body--our organs and systems-- suffer as well.

I'm doing a lot better now. The medication helped and I'm trying not to think too much and I take time out to rest and relax. My lip twitching is almost gone.

Post 2

@Mor - I only really get lip twitches when I'm talking too much during the day. I sometimes use one of those programs that will copy your voice down as typed words rather than using my hands as they can get sore when I type too much.

But, I discovered that your throat and lips can get just as sore if you are using them all the time.

And afterwards my lips often twitch, I guess because they are too fatigued. I get the same thing with my arms when I use them too much during the day and they get shaky until I rest them.

Post 1

It's funny how the body will twitch involuntarily for different reasons. It kind of makes you realize how complex it is and how, even if you feel like you have complete control of yourself, you don't really. You only have as much control as your body will let you.

My least favorite kind of twitching is that kind that's known as a hypnic jerk. That's when you are sort of falling asleep and half dreaming and suddenly you feel like you're falling a jerk awake with a shock.

That involves the whole body, not just the lips. It seems to happen more often when I'm tired, as does other kinds of twitching like around the lips and the eyes. I really don't like it, because it seems to make it more difficult to get to sleep, even when sleep is the thing that will cure it.

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