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.