Twitching or jerks in different parts of body brings lot of fear and anxiety in a person. Most of the time this condition is considered to be benign, meaning there is no underlying pathological problem. However, there are certain conditions and disorders which can produce spasm and jerks too. Twitching can occur when something is wrong with the muscles or the nerve supplying the muscles.
Twitching can be voluntary or involuntary. Spasm of tongue which is rare can occur just as any other muscle spasm. This is because tongue is also a muscle.Although twitching of tongue is not constant and may cease immediately, it can become a serious issue if it interferes with talking or swallowing.
Let us know what causes tongue twitching. Tongue twitching in medical parlance is also called lingual dystonia. Lingual means tongue while dystonia is involuntary contraction of muscles.
What Causes Twitching Of The Tongue?
Tongue spasm can occur due to many conditions. It can occur at any age. The common conditions known to cause spasm and twitching of tongue are:
- Medication: It is often found that certain medications can cause spasm of muscles. For example medications to cure vomiting and giddiness have one of their side effects as cramps and spasm of tongue. Certain antipsychotic drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders can also have tongue twitching as one of its side effects. It is called tardive dyskinesia. It is repetitive and involuntary.
- Inheritance: There are many disorders that are genetically inherited. Many of these diseases have tongue spasm as a symptom. A person can therefore inherit this condition from any of his or her parent.
- Gender: Women are more affected than men.
- Age: Though spasm of tongue can occur at any age, people in their middle age are generally affected with this condition.
- Neurological diseases: Brain controls the movement of muscles. Certain diseases which affect particular part of brain controlling movement of tongue can precipitate tongue twitching. For example tongue spasm is common in people suffering from brain stroke and cerebral palsy. Tongue spasm is also observed in multiple sclerosis, a debilitating neurological condition.
- Mineral deficiency such as magnesium deficiency and B vitamin deficiency can affect muscle movement. It can but in rare instances cause involuntary spasm of tongue.
- Stress and anxiety can bring about this condition. A person who is much stressed may have twitching of muscles. In most cases it is involuntary twitching. It is prominently observed in eyelids, leg muscles. However, in rare cases it may also be seen in tongue.
How To Stop Tongue Twitching Naturally?
Tongue twitching is a rare problem, but when it occurs it needs to be investigated thoroughly for the underlying cause. In many cases the problem is related to stress and anxiety, if it is so, relaxation of mind and body gives much needed relief. However, this should be the cause which is last to be thought after excluding many other pathological conditions that produce this symptom.
- The problem becomes more serious when swallowing and speech is affected. In stroke and cerebral palsy, physical therapy and speech therapy improves the condition. Physical therapy can make the tongue muscles strong, especially those which are not affected. Whistling and chewing gum can provide much physical exercise to tongue muscles.
- Acupressure and acupuncture are alternative methods which are known to correct the spasm of tongue in many cases though it may take time.
- If the cause is due to intake of certain medicines, it has to be stopped immediately and the patient should consult his doctor for an alternative medicine which does not have tongue twitching as a side effect.
- Correct vitamin and mineral deficiency, if any.
- Surgery is rarely considered to treat tongue spasm. Usually it is treated with medications conservatively. Surgery is thought of when there is blockage or pressure on certain nerve which sends messages to tongue.