My Mouth Feels Awkward
May 28, 2009 2:53 PM   Subscribe

When I get nervous my mouth feels awkward. My tongue doesn't sit right in my mouth and I can't keep my mouth still. I come to the hive for advice.

In anxious situations I can't find a position for my mouth to stay in. Everything in my mouth area feels awkward, and this throws off my otherwise comfortable confidence. I have tried fixing my mouth in certain positions (but it still feels uncomfortable), pushing my tongue against the roof of my mouth and releasing it (to relax the mouth), etc.

Holding my mouth still and relaxed likewise feels uncomfortable.

Maybe I'm overthinking this, as I don't think this bothers anyone I encounter too much, but it drives me crazy and throws off my groove.

What should I do?

throwaway email at

Thanks in advance.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know what you mean, especially for occasions that require a controlled mouth (ie. speaking). try worrying about a different body part. when this happens to me I think about how my left hand is going crazy and how I need to control it. It makes my left hand go crazy instead. What also works for me is reminding myself how insignificant I am by thinking about the size of the world and galaxy and universe.
posted by jcwilliams at 3:20 PM on May 28, 2009

Yea, I have a similar thing that happens and it can get so bad that it brings on a little gag reflex. It's a horrible feeling especially when you actually need to perform like in a meeting or interview.

So, I always keep some hard candy around to suck on and manipulate with my tongue. That gets my mouth right back on auto pilot so I can concentrate on whatever I'm doing.

Good luck!
posted by snsranch at 3:25 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

It sounds like it's possibly a feature, not something that you can fix. Maybe just learn to live with it? This may be the best thing to do, rather than investing a lot of energy trying to change the way your body involuntarily behaves, which could lead to other unexpected stuff.

I am not trying to sound snarky here. . .I wish you luck with this.
posted by Danf at 4:06 PM on May 28, 2009

Hard candy or Peanuts.
posted by flabdablet at 5:26 PM on May 28, 2009

Chewing gum. Trust me. A guaranteed fix for any kind of nervousness or social phobia. I've read scientific papers that raise the possibility that the constant repetitive motions involved in chewing gum increase the brain's availability of serotonin and dopamine - if that's the case, the reason it works for me might make sense given that serotonin and dopamine are not only feel-good neurochemicals but also crucial for maintaining control of ones motor functions. I'm not a neurologist, however, so if you are feel free to correct me.
posted by Zé Pequeno at 5:36 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have this, and keep my lips pressed together to keep them from quivering. (And my hands clenched, as well as several other things....)
posted by Melismata at 5:49 PM on May 28, 2009

My mouth gets dry when I'm nervous or upset sometimes. I would always bring a water bottle to job interviews in case they didn't offer me anything to drink. (And I always offer people water whenever I interview them.)
posted by davextreme at 6:36 AM on May 29, 2009

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