Upper Lip Twitching: Causes and Treatment

Upper lip twitching is an uncontrolled contraction of upper lips caused by many conditions consisting of psychological aspects. In some cases, it might be a preliminary presentation of a neurodegenerative condition. It is suggested to seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms are progressive and consistent.

Upper Lip Twitching: Causes and Treatment

Causes of Upper Lip Twitching

Withdrawal from Substances

Certain addicting substances (or drugs of abuse) can produce twitching of lips after extreme intake or during withdrawal stages. These include drug, heroin, amphetamines and other illicit drugs. In addition, particular stimulants like caffeine or caffeinated beverages like coffee, cigarette, alcohol, oxygenated or soda beverages or other neuro-stimulants can likewise produce involuntary muscle contraction of lips, covers and mouth if consumed in extreme amounts.

Psychological Triggers

Lips receive nerve stimulation from free nervous system which likewise control feelings, behavioral actions and facial expressions with the assistance of sympathetic nerve system. Sudden or unforeseen feelings often cause twitching of upper lips and extremities in particular cases. Twitching that is followed by emotional triggers is separated by pathological causes with the help of other signs of adrenergic stimulation like watering of eyes, flushing of face, dilation of pupils, inability to speak effectively or non- coherence of speech.

Also read: What Does Neurotic Mean?

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is a transient condition of inflammation or damage to facial nerve, which is reported in the setting of genital herpes or cold sores and mainly affects one side of the face just. Bell’s palsy also present with other functions like swelling of face and dropping of eye covers besides twitching of upper lips. In addition, many people develop trouble in talking, closing eye lids and pursing lips due to muscular weak point.

Vital Tremors

Necessary trembling is a condition in which involuntary contraction occurs as a result of neurological dysfunction. It may be related to generalized shaking of the body and is more pronounced on hands and extremities. People establish vital tremors in their forty’s and symptoms slowly aggravate with time with age, exercise and emotional/ environmental stressors.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is caused by degeneration of dopamine secreting cells in the substantia niagra of brain. Besides twitching of upper lips, other functions include shaking of extremities (specifically hands), slurred speech and other signs of neuro-degeneration. Replacement of dopamine helps in resolution of a lot of symptoms.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that is marked by weak point of nerves and muscles. Twitching of upper lip and facial muscles is among the initial symptoms after which the person slowly succumb to disabling muscle weak point and paralysis. Death generally ensues with the paralysis of breathing muscles. The cause of ALS is mainly a hereditary aberration that is acquired by either parents and is most likely to be transferred to offspring also. Other causes consist of biochemical imbalance in body chemicals and dysregulation of essential proteins due to an autoimmune condition.

Hemifacial Spasm

Hemifacial convulsion is another anxious condition that is marked by twitching of facial muscles, paralysis of motor expression muscles and rhythmic contraction of upper lips. The cause of hemifacial convulsion is nerve compression, facial nerve for the most parts, compression of major artery by a growing growth and in particular rare cases a brainstem sore like stroke can also cause hemifacial convulsion.


Calcium and phosphorous are firmly regulated in the blood by the action of parathyroid hormone that serves to maintain the majority of the calcium in the bones and little in serum for the action of enzymes and contraction of muscles. Idiopathic, iatrogenic (after thyroid surgery) or due to autoimmune damage of parathyroid gland, the secretion or parathyroid hormonal agent decreases significantly that present as twitching of upper lips and other muscles of the body. The impacts are because of low serum calcium levels and symptoms react well to calcium replacement.

Also read: Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Blood Test

Tourette’s Syndrome

The inherited youth disorder that is marked by regular or non- regular vocal or motor tics is reported rather regularly in teen children. It is defined by movement of facial muscles, twitching of upper lips, duplicated blinking of eyes and other similar features. Up until now no precise pathology is understood; however, a number of medicinal treatments help in achieving moderate resolution of symptoms.

DiGeorge Syndrome

DiGeorge syndrome is an acquired disorder that is marked by anomaly at chromosome 22. It presents with developmental defects like underdeveloped immune system due to genetic lack of thymus, heart flaws, cleft taste buds and hypocalcemia or low serum levels of calcium that results in twitching of facial muscles and lips in addition to tetany of limb muscles.

Treatments for Upper Lip Twitching

Treatment modalities are dependent upon the primary cause of twitching of lips. It is recommended to investigate the cause before starting the management options. For moderate twitching especially if the twitching is associated with caffeine intake simple lifestyle modification is enough to eliminate the symptoms. However in scenarios where the reason for twitching is severe or a severe issue, periodic assessment is required by a medical specialist. Some lifestyle adjustments likewise help in many cases:

  • Psychotherapy helps in managing twitching of lips due to emotional aspects
  • Control of caffeine, alcohol and stimulants is likewise recommended if your symptoms are becoming worse.
  • Calcium supplements are encouraged if symptoms are due to hypocalcemia.

Last Update - September 19, 2017


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