13 Reasons for Uncontrollable Lip Twitching

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Lip twitching is when your upper or bottom lip shakes or trembles uncontrollably. A lip twitch is often quick and feels like a quiver.

A twitch is when the muscles of the lip involuntarily move. Often, it's caused by a muscle-related condition, but can also have other causes.

Read on to learn more about what causes lip twitching and what you can do about it.

Woman receiving a beauty treatment in medical practice

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Why Your Lip Could Be Twitching

There are many things that can cause lip twitching. Some of them are relatively harmless and easy to fix on your own, but there are other causes that may need medical treatment.

While folklore might have traditionally associated a lip twitch with an impending kiss or the appearance of love, the truth is that simple muscle reaction is to blame.

Common causes of lip twitching include:

  • Caffeine
  • Medication
  • Substance use
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Stress and mental health conditions

Less common causes of lip twitching include:

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Hemifacial spasms
  • Trauma to the facial nerve
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • DiGeorge syndrome
  • Hypoparathyroidism


Caffeine is a drug found in coffee, tea, some snack foods, and soft drinks. If a person consumes too much caffeine, they can get symptoms of caffeine toxicity.

Irritability, anxiety, tension, and tremors are common symptoms of having too much caffeine. The tremors that develop from caffeine toxicity can be in the lips.

Drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages like coffee can also be dehydrating. Sometimes, twitching in muscles can be caused by dehydration.


Certain medications can cause the muscles in your face to twitch uncontrollably. When small muscle fibers are affected by contraction, it is referred to as fasciculation.

Corticosteroids, drugs that lower inflammation, are common causes of fasciculation. Other medications that could cause lip twitching include:

  • Drugs that treat muscle diseases (e.g., Neostigmine)
  • Medications that treat short-term paralysis (e.g., succinylcholine)
  • Medications that treat mental health disorders (e.g., Nortriptyline, lithium)
  • Migraine prevention drugs (e.g., Flunarizine)
  • Certain antibiotics (e.g., Isoniazid)

If you’re taking a medication and you think lip twitching is a side effect, do not stop taking it without talking to your provider.

Potassium Deficiency

Potassium is a mineral that acts as an electrolyte in the body. Electrolytes are needed for nerve signaling, which the brain uses to communicate with other areas of the body.

If a person does not have enough potassium, this messaging system can be interrupted. Sometimes, this leads to muscle spasms and twitches. 

Alcohol and Drug Neuropathy

Neuropathy is the medical word for nerve damage. Heavy alcohol and drug use can damage nerves throughout the body. 

When nerves get damaged, signaling between the brain and body is affected. Poor communication can lead to muscle twitching anywhere in the body, including the lip.

Stress and Mood Disorders

Being under a lot of stress can lead to movement disorders that cause muscle spasms or twitches anywhere in the body, including the face and lips.

If lip twitching is caused by stress or mood disorders, it is often called a psychogenic condition.

Can Lip Twitching Be Caused by Stress?

If you are coping with high levels of stress, lip twitching could be a sign that you need to take a break or practice some stress-relieving activities.

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes the muscles in the face to become weak or paralyzed.

Lip twitching is a rare complication of Bell’s palsy, which is typically associated with other symptoms like drooping eyelids.

Hemifacial Spasms

Hemifacial spasms are muscle spasms that usually only happen on one side of the face. If the spasms are near the mouth, the lip may twitch. 

The spasms can be caused by an artery compressing a facial nerve, damage to a facial nerve, or a tumor compressing the nerve.

Past Trauma to the Facial Nerve

Similar to hemifacial spasms, lip twitching can come on after an injury or trauma to the facial nerve. Trauma to the head that affects the brain stem, the area at the base of the brain that connects to the spinal cord, can also damage a facial nerve, leading to lip twitches.

Face Muscle Injury and Lip Twitching

Facial nerves can be damaged by an injury to the muscles of the face. If they’re damaged, signals between the muscles and the brain can get skewed, leading to twitches.

Tourette's Syndrome

Tourette's syndrome is a movement disorder that causes a person to make sounds or movements repetitively and uncontrollably.

The movements of Tourette’s are called tics. Tics can be involuntary lip twitching and other lip movements.

Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease is a type of brain disease that affects the function of both the nerves and spinal cord. 

When a person develops ALS, they often have facial twitching across the entire face, including the lips.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects different parts of the body. 

One of the first symptoms of Parkinson’s is often muscle tremors in the lower lips.

DiGeorge Syndrome

DiGeorge syndrome is a genetic condition that someone is born with. It happens because certain tissues in the body do not form right during fetal development.

People born with DiGeorge syndrome have problems with their immune systems. 

It’s also common for people with the condition to have facial and mouth features that did not form correctly. Sometimes, this leads to twitching around the mouth including the lips.


Hypoparathyroidism is a hormone disorder that happens when the parathyroid glands (oval-shaped glands in the neck), make too little parathyroid hormone. The body needs this hormone to release, absorb, and store calcium. 

If hypoparathyroidism develops, the body’s calcium levels get too low, and phosphorus levels go too high. 

This imbalance leads to tingling or numbness in the toes and fingers, as well as around the lips. It can also cause muscle spasms and twitches in the face including the lips.

Is Lip Twitching Serious?

Lip twitching can be harmless. However, it can also be a sign of a more serious health problem. If you have a twitching lip and don’t know what’s causing it, tell your healthcare provider.

How Is Lip Twitching Diagnosed?

A physical exam by your healthcare provider is the first step in diagnosing lip twitching. Your provider can look at your mouth to see what the twitching looks like. They will also ask you about any other symptoms you're having, your health history, and your lifestyle habits.

If there is no clear cause, your provider might want to do some medical tests like blood work or an MRI.

How to Stop Lip Twitching

Treatment for lip twitching depends on what’s causing it.

For example, if your lip twitch is caused by a potassium deficiency, getting more potassium in your diet through bananas, spinach, or avocados can help remedy the symptom. 

If you have hemifacial spasms, Botox injections can help stop the lip twitching.

Some at-home remedies you can try to stop lip twitching include limiting your caffeine or alcohol intake and applying pressure to the affected area. 

However, see your provider if you are concerned about the lip twitching or have not been able to get it to go away.

When Is Lip Twitching an Emergency?

Lip twitching that comes on suddenly or comes along with “red flag” symptoms (such as weakness, dizziness, or numbness on one side of the body) could be a sign of a more serious health problem.

You should seek immediate medical care if you have these symptoms along with a lip twitch.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Lip twitching on its own might have a simple cause that you can fix on your own. 

However, you should tell your healthcare provider if you have other symptoms that started with or after the lip twitching began. You should also check with your provider if you have taken steps (like improving your potassium intake and reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption) and have not seen any improvement.

If the lip twitching does not go away, keeps coming back, or is causing your stress or getting in the way of your daily life, let your provider know—even if you don’t have symptoms.


Lip twitching is uncontrollable lip movement that can be caused by muscle-related or neurological disorders, but common causes include potassium deficiency and too much caffeine.

The cause of a twitching lip can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider. Having your lip twitch uncontrollably can be both annoying and worrisome. The good news is that it isn’t always concerning. In many cases, you can remedy the situation at home by limiting how much coffee or alcohol you drink, avoiding the use of drugs, and improving your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much caffeine is too much?

    According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is a cap on how much caffeine a healthy adult should consume on a daily basis: anything over 400 milligrams should be avoided.

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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Angelica Bottaro
Angelica Bottaro is a professional freelance writer with over 5 years of experience. She has been educated in both psychology and journalism, and her dual education has given her the research and writing skills needed to deliver sound and engaging content in the health space.