Today you will learn the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options for Tongue Twitches.
Twitching or jerks in different parts of the body brings a lot of anxiety and anxiety in a person. Most often, this condition is considered benign.
In lay man’s language, benign means that there is no underlying problem. Nevertheless, some conditions make certain parts of the body to twitch.
This occurs when there is something abnormal with the nerve supplying the muscle or the muscles themselves. This condition can be voluntary or involuntary. Today we are going to look at twitching of the tongue.
Is Tongue Twitching Normal?
Twitching of the tongue is rare although it occurs just the way a muscle spasm occurs(1). If you have read a little biology, you probably know that the tongue is a muscle. This means just the way you experience a hamstring muscle twitch when you run or walk for a long distance; a tongue can also twitch. Spasm in the tongue is often not constant and tends to cease quickly.
Some medical experts also argue that Twitching of the muscle is related closely to the nervous system. This is contrary to what we had mentioned earlier that the condition is related to muscle cramps. However, these medical experts also state that twitching of the tongue cannot be considered as a serious disorder and is easily reversible using the right treatment.
What Causes Twitching Of The Tongue?
So what are the symptoms of tongue muscle twitches? Well, this condition occurs because of a variety of factors. It may be because of excessive activity on the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling movement. This condition may also arise because of medical issues.
Additionally, tongue twitching may also be caused by taking of certain antipsychotic drugs.
Tongue spasm can occur at any age to both male and females. Besides the already listed factors, below are some of the common conditions that are known to cause tongue twitches.
According to medical research, some drugs cause twitching of the tongue. Besides the antipsychotic drugs that we had mentioned earlier, medications that cure giddiness and vomiting may also lead to spasm of the tongue. Although there are various antipsychotic drugs, a patient who takes tardive dyskinesia drug often complain of involuntary and repetitive twitching of the tongue.
Although this condition affects both men and women, research shows that women are often more affected than men.
Hereditary factor also plays a major role in determining those who are at risk of this condition and those who are not. If your grandfathers or parents have this condition, you are at higher risks of getting this condition. It is believed that this condition is passed from the mother to child genetically.
As previously mentioned, the brain is responsible for controlling the movement of the muscle. If you suffer from a neurological illness, it may affect the part of the brain that controls the movement of the tongue.
This may cause repeated twitching of the tongue, which affects the person’s speech, and it may lead to problems when swallowing.
For instance, people suffering from cerebral palsy and brain stroke tend to experience twitching of the tongue more often. Besides, tongue twitches are also observed in people who have multiple sclerosis, which is a debilitating neurological condition.
Though tongue twitches occur at any ages, individuals in the middle ages are more prone to this condition.
Stress and Anxiety
The tongue twitch is also a common occurrence to people who are suffering from severe stress. Those who are also extremely anxious also suffer from this condition. Although the involuntary twitches in these individuals are often observed in the leg muscles and eyelids, sometimes it is also seen in a tongue.
The deficiency of certain minerals such as B vitamin and magnesium can affect the movement of the muscle(2. Although this is rare, there are instances that this can lead to involuntary tongue twitches.
Other Causes of Tongue Twitching
We also have other general conditions that causes or trigger tongue twitches. This includes being overly fatigued, muscle pain, the stiffness of tongue muscle, myoclonic jerks (Myoclonus(3)) and internal shaking. In most cases, these symptoms worsen when the tongue is at rest.
Can you Stop Tongue Twitching Naturally?
Twitching of the tongue is a rare problem. However, when it occurs, you should not assume it. To be safe, you should have it examined by a medical practitioner to know the underlying cause.
If this is the case, practicing yoga as well as other techniques that help relax your mind will help get rid of this illness? Remember, you shouldn’t assume that stress causes the condition without consulting a doctor. Doctor examination will make sure that you are certain of the underlying cause and act accordingly.
Visiting a neurologist is crucial so that he/she can run the appropriate tests that are needed to diagnose you. Running these tests will also enable them to rule the dangerous illnesses and prescribe the drugs to eradicate these symptoms. Below are some of the ways to treat tongue twitches.
As previously mentioned, stress is the main cause of tongue twitches in an otherwise healthy individual. When a person is overly stressed, they tend to have an involuntary spasm in not only legs, eyelids and sometimes the tongue.
Although these muscle spasms are not considered dangerous they are uncomfortable and may affect the way you talk. Stress management techniques can help you in eradicating these symptoms. Some of these techniques include practicing yoga, exercising more as well as meditation.
Joining a Support Groups
Constant twitching of the tongue leads to unpleasant experience especially when you re amongst your friends. In extreme cases, this condition may affect our speech making you stammer when talking.
Joining a support group that has people that suffer from the same, condition is very helpful. The best thing about joining a support group today is that you do not have to go to a physical institution.
The internet has helped the formation of online forums as well as a Facebook page where you can connect with individuals with the same condition. Sharing your experience with others will make you feel more comfortable with your condition.
Drinking Enough Water
Dehydration may lead to your muscles to firing off spontaneously. This may cause twitching of the tongue. To avoid this, you should make sure that your body is well hydrated. Taking at least 2 liters of water daily is the only way to ensure that your body is well hydrated.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Tongue spasms may also occur because of a diet that is not balanced. As mentioned earlier, lack of certain minerals in the body may cause twitching of the tongue. The only sure way of making sure that the body is getting all the relevant minerals and vitamins is by eating a balanced diet.
Take Stock of Your Medications
Ensure that the medications that you are taking don’t have a tongue-twisting side effect. If you find that the symptoms occur when you take a certain medication, you should talk to your doctor to see if you can get an alternative. However, you should never take medications before talking to your doctor.
Since there are various underlying causes, some of which are harmless and other which are serious such as stroke or cancer, you need to get professional help from a doctor to treat the condition.
For instance, if you are suffering from a stroke, you need medications that address these issues. In the same breath, if you are suffering from cancer you need chemo, radiation, and surgery of a combination of these three.
Well, although use of Botox is one of hotly discussed topic where the majority discourages using, it can be of help to people with constant tongue twitches. Botox works by paralyzing the tongue muscle, preventing the involuntary spasms from taking place.
Is it Bulbar ALS?
Most individuals who suffer from tongue twitches believe that they have bulbar ALS. The answer to this is yes or no. Tongue twitching is considered as a variation of ALS that begins from the tongue. This rare condition affects very few people.
In fact, in the United States where we have a population of over three hundred million people, this condition only affects about six hundred people annually(4). Additionally, the Bulbar ALS is a progressive disease that gets worse with time.
Therefore, if you find you have tongue twitches one day and normally next day, there is a high chance that you are not suffering from this condition.
Other reasons that help you rule out the possibility of tongue twitching being Bulbar ALS
First, the ALS comes with other symptoms that lead to the inability to speak as well as difficulty in swallowing. Therefore, if you find that the only problem you have is tongue twitching, but you don’t have problem swallowing or talking, then you are not suffering from ALS.
Individuals suffering from the ALS would have problems controlling secretions, difficulty in chewing and issues when swallowing food. Besides, the ALS symptoms are constant and often become worse day by day. Therefore, when you find that this is not happening to you can relax knowing that you are not suffering from Bulbar ALS.
As you can see, there are many underlying conditions cause tongue twitching. The worst scenario that leads to this problem includes cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and Meige’s syndrome.
Therefore, if you find that the only symptom you have is tongue spasms, it is most likely that you are stressed or anxious. However, as mentioned, you should not leave anything to chance when you find that you have constant tongue twitches.
Seeing a doctor allows you to get the proper diagnose that should help you get rid of this annoying condition. The sooner that the issue is controlled, the sooner, you can get back to your normal life.