BRONX, NY- Hello readers! I want to apologize for not publishing a post in a while. I am experiencing a horrible case of night bruxism. No amount of over- the -counter night guards have worked, and I cannot get a customized one since I will be starting the Invisalign treatment on April 20th. Long story short, I got to tough this out. My sleep has been interfered with, hence my lack of publishing posts.
For those of you not familiar with what bruxism is, it's when you clench or grind your teeth. Bruxism can occur day or night, but for most people it happens during sleep. This puts excessive force on your jaw bone, teeth, and gums. TMJ (temporomandibular disorder) can develop if bruxism is not addressed over time. The habit can form due to high levels of stress, anxiety, a misaligned bite, sleep apnea, and trauma to the jaw. Treatment includes getting a custom night guard, orthodontic treatment, hypnosis, stress management, and sleep examinations. At least, all of this is what my orthodontist told me.
My problem mostly spawns from a bad bite. My bite shifted after three wisdom teeth extractions over the course of two years. I only started noticing it last year, when I kept biting into my left cheek and my top teeth made too much contact with my bottom teeth in the center, causing my speech to stutter a bit. Dentists believe stress is also related, but why did I start grinding my teeth while I was on vacation last year? Waking up with a sore jaw, headaches, and painful teeth is a nightmare.
The Facebook community has been very helpful offering me advice on how to alleviate my symptoms. I been drinking green and chamomile tea daily, using Headspace to learn to meditate, bathing in essential oils, keeping up with my workouts, and doing my best to stay as zen as possible. I took this Easter weekend to catch up on sleep in intervals, since it has been weeks that I have had a full night of rest.
I will get back to posting more frequently once my brain is free from sleep deprivation. For now, I hope you are all enjoying life to the fullest.
Banner image: tomandjerryonline.com
Note: Invisalign has helped align my bite significantly. It has not stopped me from night time clenching, so the problem seems to be neurological. Good thing the Invisalign trays double as a mouth guard, so my sleep is as normal as it gets now.
Last Updated: July 27, 2019