Over the last few weeks I have developed an annoying little habit. I have started chewing on the inside of my mouth, the right cheek to be precise.
A few ridges of scar tissue later and my husband telling me to "STOP DOING THAT!" for the umpteenth time, I resorted to my friend, the internet.
Well, it seems there are thousands upon thousands of us! Most, if not all, in a much worse state than I am. Numerous causes have been postulated - misaligned teeth or jaw, not enough vegetables, too many vegetables, not enough salt, too much salt, dehydration, worms (yes, worms!), tomatoes, garlic, etc., etc. The most prevalent theory is anxiety and stress. I can relate to that. Evidently, it's a less visible alternative to biting one's nails or pulling one's hair out.
As for a cure, there are far fewer hints about that. I could have downloaded a "relaxation tape" for an extortionate sum, bought a mouth guard (although I don't seem to chew while asleep), purchased worming powder or cut out garlic (no, no, no!) but the easiest, cheapest and immediately available thing to try was a tooth pick. If you have a tooth pick between your teeth, you can't chew anything. Simples! Oops, sorry, Aleksandr crept in again there - that's what Bryn said I sounded like when chomping distractedly on my own flesh!
I have plenty of tooth picks. I don't stick cheese and pineapple chunks into a grapefruit very often these days, so they should last me a while. It seems to be working so far. The only drawback being the difficulty of talking round a little stick of wood. Some would say that isn't a drawback at all!
If you never hear about this again, you'll know it worked and I'm cured.