I grind my teeth. I've known this for quite some time now. When my dentist mentioned it to me, it was like a light switch turned on. Suddenly, all of the headaches and soreness made sense.
I guess I really don't sleep on a cement pillow.
Apparently, I store up all of my stress and tension in my jaw. I catch myself doing it during the day. When I'm barking orders, dealing with disobedient kids, or contemplating how I'm going to tackle seven loads of laundry, grocery shopping and a messy house in one hundred degree heat--I bite down and bite down hard.
I've bought several mouth guards over the years but they didn't seem to work for me. They always fall out and/or I have a hard time breathing with them (total mouth breather here). They were all over the counter mouth guards because I couldn't afford $350 for a custom guard. I figured it would help my teeth, but it wouldn't correct my habit of clamping my jaw down when I sleep. So I slacked on the mouth guards until very recently.
Then my teeth started to hurt.
The left side of my mouth, way back in the molars. It was sooo tender, I could barely bite down. Eating became a challenge. Even when I tried to chew on one side--the other side hurt just from the action on biting down. I was miserable--not just from the pain of it, but because I was agonized by the thought that it might get worse.
Just go to the dentist, everyone said.
Easily said when you actually have dental insurance. So I researched non-profit dental groups, low-cost dental plans, dental credit plans--you name it. If there was a dentist's office for freelancing poor people, I was all over it.
In the mean time, I gargled with peroxide (which is sooooo gross and reminded me of gargling with bleach!), brushed diligently and conscientiously, and seriously looked into wearing mouth guards again.
I had this box of Plackers Grind-No-More dental mouthguards in my medicine cabinet, from a dear friend who saw them on clearance at CVS and bought them for me. Now is as good a time as any to try them, I thought. They are small and flimsy but I knew I had to give them a shot. I wore them diligently, maintained my peroxide regimen and guess what?
My teeth don't hurt anymore!
But here's the thing, I'm down to my last three mouthguards. These babies aren't cheap--a small box cost $28!! So, being the
Well, the other night I woke up to discover the mouthguard fell out of my mouth. In the pitch blackness, I searched with my hands all over the bed. Then I enlisted the help of the flashlight on my iPhone. In the sheets. Nothing. Behind the bed. Nothing. On the floor. Nothing. On the chair. Nothing. On the nightstand. Nothing. Under my husband's heavily snoring body. Nothing.
Bummed out, I stumbled over to the bathroom and did my business. As I stood there washing my hands, I looked at myself in the mirror. Then I saw this.
Whew. That was a close one. You know I was cracking up by myself like a crazy person at four in the morning.
No, this isn't a sponsored post. Just sharing my love of temporary mouthguards. Hey, Plackers...hook a sister up.