There are many reasons why your upper lip may start to twitch. In general, twitching is an involuntary contraction that can occur at various points on the human body. While this condition may be a sign of some type of neurodegenerative condition, it can also be a sign of an emotional trigger or nutrient deficiency. As a rule, you should seek out immediate medical care if the twitching continues or becomes worse.
Reasons for Upper Lip Twitching
- Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s palsy is a medical condition that leads to facial nerve damage. Often due to diseases like cold sores or genital herpes, Bell’s palsy causes irritation to develop and it may only affect one side of the face. You may also notice increased swelling or the drooping of your eye lids. In addition, it may cause twitching of your upper lip, pursed lips, problems talking, weakness of facial muscles and closed eye lids.
2. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative condition. Muscles and nerves grow progressively weaker. One of the first sections of the body to be affected is the face and upper lip. Over time, you may experience additional muscle weakness and paralysis. If the respiratory muscles in the lungs are no longer strong enough to function, ALS can lead to death. Although it is a rare genetic condition, ALS is a potential cause of twitching of the upper lips.
3. Withdrawal Symptoms
When you detox from drugs or alcohol, your body experiences withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include twitching, anxiety, paranoia, headaches, sweating, dizziness and irregular heart beats. Although most people associate withdrawal effects with hard drugs like cocaine, amphetamines and heroine, people may also experience withdrawal effects after quitting cigarettes, alcohol or coffee.
4. DiGeorge Syndrome
This rare medical condition occurs when there is a mutation on the 22nd chromosome. DiGeorge syndrome is an inherited condition where the immune system is undeveloped. The thymus may be absent, and there may be heart defects or a cleft palate. Individuals with this condition may develop low calcium serums levels or hypocalcemia that leads to the twitching of facial muscles.
5. Essential Tremors
Essential tremors are a type of medical condition where there are involuntary muscle contractions. This occurs due to a problem with your neurological function. It may lead to shaking in the body, especially in the hands and feet. Often, these tremors develop when someone is 40 years old or older. They may become worse in response to age, environmental stress, physical activity and emotional stressors.
6. Emotional Triggers
The lips are controlled by nerves that are a part of the autonomic nervous system. This bodily system is also responsible for controlling your facial expressions, emotions and behavioral responses in conjunction with your sympathetic nervous system. Sudden, overwhelming emotions can cause your lips to twitch. When you experience an emotional trigger, you may also experience incoherent speech, pupil dilation, eye watering, speaking issues and facial flushing.
7. Hemifacial Spasm
This type of muscle spasm is due to a nervous condition that is caused by the facial nerves becoming compressed. There may be a tumor compressing an artery, something else compressing facial nerves, a stroke or a brain stem lesion that contributes to the condition. When you have a hemifacial spasm, you may experience twitching in your upper lips or paralysis of your motor expression muscles.
8. Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is due to the degeneration of the substantial niagra cells in the mind. They stop releasing dopamine the way they are supposed to and cause severe physical effects. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease may experience shaking in their hands, twitching or slurred speech. Although replacing the lost dopamine can help to control symptoms, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Tourette’s syndrome is an inherited disorder that first appears during childhood. Early on, parents may notice vocal or motor tics. Often, a patient with Tourette’s syndrome shows twitching in their upper lips and facial muscles or blinking of their eye lids. This condition is not curable, but the symptoms can be alleviated through medication.
The body needs to have phosphorous and calcium in balance in order to operate. Normally, parathyroid hormones help to regulate the amount of calcium in the bones and muscles. Individuals with an autoimmune disease, recent thyroid surgery or hormonal problem may develop hypoparathyroidism. Since this is caused by low serum levels of calcium, it can be alleviated through calcium replacement.
11. Treating Upper Lip Twitching
The type of treatment that is used for upper lip twitching depends entirely on the underlying cause. There is no point in treating the upper lip if you do not also treat the reason why the lip was twitching in the first place. Sometimes, mild twitching can be due to caffeine intake or a nutrient deficiency. In these cases, it can be treated at home through lifestyle modifications.
If there is a more serious cause, it is important to get medical help. A doctor or neurologist can make sure that there is not a more severe reason behind your lip twitching. No matter what the diagnosis is, psychotherapy and lifestyle changes can help. While psychotherapy can reduce emotional triggers for lip twitching, lifestyle changes like reducing your caffeine or alcohol intake can help to prevent the symptoms from becoming worse.