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oral fixation

I'm really struggling these days because I've realized I have an oral fixation. I was a chain smoker for years and finally quit( gained a bunch of weight replacing cigs with food). Since losing weight I've been chewing gum...sugar free at first but then i developed a bad reaction to the artifical sweetner ( BAD stomach cramps) now just regular gum. tons of gum...its the only thing that helps. I've lost 10 pounds( combined with healthy eating and exercise ofcourse) !.Problem is that now I'm developing jaw pains, cavities etc. I'm afraid that if I stop with the gum, I'll start with the smoking again or the overeating. chewing on straws, drinking water etc doesnt seem to satisfy me. Any advice? I feel so crazy but I'm really having trouble with this. could it be emotional?

Mon. Apr 17, 11:50pm

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I have an oral fixation too - always chewing on pen caps, etc. Maybe you could try bringing a big bowl of veggies to wherever you're going to be, and munching on them as much as you want. Eventually, you'll probably get bored and stop chewing as often.

It may be psychological though, maybe anxiety-related? It can't hurt to see a doctor or therapist if you question why you act a certain way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 10:04 AM

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In lab mammals (rats, mice, dogs) oral fixation seems to be related to lack of physical contact. Maybe regular massages? More snuggling?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 10:27 AM

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Wow, that's eye-opening!

I can totally see how an oral fixation is due to decreased physical contact. Sometimes I feel munchy and if I get a snuggle from my honey I'm not hungry anymore.
But sometimes I'm so needy that I can't get all I want from him. Call it insecurity or crazy, but alternative strategies for dealing are necessary too.
Thanks for the insight, though! :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 8:58 PM

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Dont know if this will help, but can you try a water bottle instead of gum (or at least half the time.) Try to get one of the sport bottle ones or one with a straw...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 9:01 PM

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Definitely drinking with a straw might help. You may need to buy a whole pack of straws though; you may find you chew them up too badly to continue with them in not too long.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 10:31 AM

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