I went to the dentist yesterday.

I've had some significant tooth pain and was sure I had a cavity. So after three months of chewing food on the right side of my mouth, I finally made it in to see the dentist. He took a really long time looking at the x-rays. I asked him if he found the cavity. "No," he answered slowly, and then he took a seat in the chair next to me.

He asked me if I was stressed out.


Apparently, I grind my teeth. Aggressively. I have worn through the enamel down to the dentin on about ten different teeth. If it continues, my teeth will be "substantially damaged".

He pulled out a mirror, pointed out the wear patterns, and showed my how far to each side I am grinding my teeth.


I told him I never knew I was grinding my teeth. "Don't you wake up with a sore jaw?" he asked.


"If you talk to people who see you sleeping, they will have heard you grinding your teeth."


He recommended a mouth guard to wear at night. And to ask my physician to prescribe me some muscle relaxers. I asked what would happen if I kept grinding them. "Eventually," he warned, "you will lose your teeth."

It looks like I belong at the ghetto dentist after all.


Jenny said...

I'll be joining you there. I'm more of a clencher than a grinder though. My jaw and several teeth hurt all day everyday. It goes away when I'm pregnant because I stop sleeping on my stomach and my jaw realigns.

We can be the two crazy old ladies who eat everything through a straw when we get old.

Kaylynn said...

I am a really bad teeth grinder, so I have sympathy for you. Hopefully our teeth last until we die:)

Anonymous said...

I hate going to the dentist! I swear my mouth is worth a sweet BMW, I know a really great dentist who specializes in that area. He fits you with a thing called and appliance and he realigns your jaw with electrical pulses. The up front cost that you pay is for the rest of your life. If you need treatment in 10 years you go in and get it worked on. I really need to get one too. I have had several root canals with no cavity. It was from the trauma my teeth grinding that inflamed my roots. It took me a looooon time to figure out what has been causing all my teeth issues . His name is Dr. Bingaham, his office is in Logan. Insurance does not cover the cost of the treatment. I think it starts around $600.00. That is a whole lot cheaper than a root canal and crown. Good luck!


the O's said...

Hi Em!
I had one of those mouth guards in high school and college, and I hated it. It was way too tight, and I couldn't sleep with it on. But0 maybe yours will fit better- it is a great idea.

Good Luck, that was a hopeful commment, eh?

Lindsay O

Ryanne said...

I have the same issue with grinding, but Reggie definitely knows. I haven't gotten the guard yet though, and my dentist told me if don't I'm going to look like an old lady cause my teeth will grind away. Guess that's on my list of the summer... Good luck.

Ragan said...

Paul grinds his teeth too - really bad. When we first got married I woke up thinking that there was a dog in our room chewing on a bone or something. He now has a little mouth piece that fits on his two bottom teeth - it was not a small price though. He says that his jaw is more relaxed now and that he didn't realize that his jaw was so clenched and tight before the mouth piece.

the O's said...

Ok- here is a better comment. I thought I would tell you about the mouth guard that I found at Target- it's by Dentek, a 2 pak for $30, supposed to last ya for a year. It has this retainer plastic piece across the front instead of going over your front teeth. You made me remember that I need to do something about my teeth grinding, so I bought them,- and very comfy, hardly noticed it even on the first night. So- you might want to check it out. IT's so way better than the custom one that probably cost my parents a few hundred bucks.

:)Lindsay O