Thread: Obsessive compulsive behavior?

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    Obsessive compulsive behavior? 
    So, I'm not quite sure what this would be classified as. I'm assuming obsessive compulsive because it is a compulsion, but I was hoping to see if others have experienced this. I tried researching it, but to no avail:

    Picking your gums.

    I somehow get pleasure from picking my gums. I do it when I'm nervous mostly, and I do it when I'm drunk. I have nice teeth, so I don't want to mess anything up...but it's kind of troubling to me and I'm not sure why I exactly do this.

    Has anyone experienced this before and does anyone know the root (no pun intended) causes of it?
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    I do the same thing, it's weird. I don't know much about it, I'm thinking maybe it's some kind of oral fixation. I used to have bad OCD when I was younger, not so bad nowadays. I pick at my nails and lips compulsively too and that's really hard to stop.
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    OCD doesn't just pass away, it's a lifelong problem...

    Do you think something bad is going to happen if you don't pick your gums?
    Do you pick your gums a certain number of times because x might happen or not?
    Do you pick your gums because you think you'll get sick otherwise?

    If you said no to all of the above, I'm %99 sure that you don't have OCD.

    I have a "tic", I sometimes grind on one of my frontal teeth. I catch myself doing it sometimes. I'm not worried about it, and neither should you be. Just stop tryng to do it.
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    I know OCD doesn't pass away.

    To the questions -- no.

    I've been doing it for several years now, so it's a bad habit if anything. I'm thinking it may be a form of dermatillomania.
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    Bluelighter AminoAcid's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Personally I don't think that really sounds like OCD, but rather just a compulsion due to maybe stress or anxiety or whatever. OCD involves you thinking that YOU HAVE to do something completely irrational otherwise something horrible will happen. Ie: when I had OCD as a kid I remember I would have to turn the light on and off a certain amount of times and make the correct clicking noise while doing so in a perfectly timed rhythm, had to count every driveway when going to school, had to touch my forehead a certain number of times in the perfectly correct way before I could go to sleep, and *countless* just bizarre daily rituals like that, with the compulsion to do them being really intense because if you don't do them you genuinely believe something terrible is going to transpire (for me this terror was largely undefined). It causes you to become extremely miserable.

    Eventually managed to get rid of the OCD after a while by deeply thinking about the kinetics behind it, and realized that if it was indeed an irrational "fear" as everyone says, then all I had to do was confirm to myself that it was actually completely irrational, and the only way to do this was to do everything in my power to stop the rituals at least for a short while to see that nothing bad would actually transpire. And when my subconscious realized nothing bad was happening, then the OCD went away amazingly fast. I still even today find myself lurking towards OCD tendencies, like having a superstitious belief that I have to do something a certain amount of times, but then I quickly remind myself it's irrational, and so the OCD has never fully manifested ever again.
    Last edited by AminoAcid; 08-10-2012 at 11:02.
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    Nov 2008
    My hopes are blighted, my heart is broken, my life a burden, everything around me is sad and mournful; earth has become distasteful to me, and human voices distract me. It is mercy to let me die, for if I live I shall lose my reason and become mad.
    I would be careful, as you don't want to damage your gums.
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    Is it possible that instead of picking your gums you could just brush and floss them once or twice a day instead? Or use mouthwash?

    Since apparently it's not OCD but more something you do when you're nervous or anxious you can stop doing this if you want to.

    It sounds odd but I used to crack my jaw when I was nervous/anxious and I eventually forced myself to stop doing this.
    Last edited by PriestTheyCalledHim; 08-10-2012 at 20:40.
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    I brush my teeth 4x daily because I'm super paranoid about cavities and tooth decay, plus Im scared of the dentist.

    I do think its a nervous habit similar to like nail biting and stuff like that
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