Monday, October 02, 2006

Gritting My Teeth

The dentist told me last week that it looks like I'm gritting my teeth: I have a "real fracture" on one of my teeth---apparently the one sensitive to heat and cold. He says I have to Stop! gritting my teeth. The other option is a plastic thingy (I think) that I'll have to wear at night and perhaps the day, too.

I told him that I thought could stop based on all the yoga I've done. He scoffed. (He was foolish) I think people who do not do yoga do not realize how well it helps you to focus on particular body parts. So I have been focusing on my mouth for the last week or so.

And here is what I've discovered.

I do indeed grit my teeth! I don't think I do it at night though because I imagine it's hard to snore and grit at the same time. I do grit a lot during the day. In fact, after I say something stressful or have a stressful thought, I will just simply bite down hard. And since i"ve been pretty much stressed all the time lately, I'm a constant gritter and biter!

But I've been focused on letting my jaw hang, yoga like, during the day. I'm turning that into my habit instead of biting. It's working. I notice when I bite and I'm stopping.

The weird part in all this is how sore my face has become since I've stopped biting! Why is that? Is that part of my face been so compressed, it's finally able to relax? It's gotten easier to tell when I'm biting because now, finally, it starts to hurt when I bite.

So there. I'm a nut. I clench/grit/bite. But I'm getting better.

One thing that does NOT make me clench my teeth: DAVE and all the work he's doing around the house. I have not mentioned our new French door in the living room. So now I shall. Beautiful!!! It makes such a big difference in making that part of the house seem brighter and bigger.

And last weekend, he ripped off the rotting siding of the house, pulled out all the dead wood, went under the house (surrounded by dozens of camel crickets---or hoppy spiders as we call them) to brace the house from all the rotting wood damage, put up new siding and painted. In one weekend!!!

He's quite the bargain to have around the house. And he most certainly NEVER makes me clinch my teeth. Because how could I give him a big sloppy wet kiss if I was gritting my teeth?

Back to work.


Carroll said...

Snore? Why is that word still in your vocabulary?? Have we not discussed this on some previous occasion, Anita? I'm quite sure that, like me, you do not snore. We purr!!!

Three cheers (again, and again, and again!!!) for handy Dave. I can guarantee you that in no time (if not already) young Conor will be toddling around after him helping hold hammers and such. It's a good guy gene to be passing down to the next generation :)

lisa said...

The dentist told me the same thing last year. I didn't think I clenched my teeth too much until I started noticing. Man, I do it ALL the time. Anyway, I switched to biting the inside of my cheeks (gentle pressure, nothing violent.) It feels better than relaxing it. If I consciously relax my jaw when I'm about to clench, it feels like it's just hanging there, and I get all aware of it. So I settle them onto my cheeks and forget about it. I don't know if that's a good long-term plan, but it's what I do.

Piratewench said...

I'm so jealous. I want to replace our bedroom slider to the patio with french doors. I'm not married to a mr. fixit though...yay, for you.

Anita said...


Ditto on the hanging jaw thing. It sort of freaks me out. Also, I think my jaw is out of whach with the rest of my face, it feels even weirder. And STOP EATING YOUR OWN FACE! :-)

Yes, yes, carroll. I purr! I forgot!!!

gabriella said...

there is a stage of sleep where people parafunction: grind their teeth, chew, snap their teeth together, etc. during this stage of sleep the normal protective mechanisms are not functional. thus the amount of force exerted by the jaw muscles onto the teeth is far in excess of forces that would be consciously permitted.

people snore. but that's not something that happens during the stage of sleep where people snap their teeth together.

the price of one root canal, plus crown is several times that of a nighguard. the cost of a root canal and crown, which is not about money but about the chance of totally losing a tooth when it's so badly damaged that it requires root canal etc. is terribly high.

the aim is to prevent tooth loss and the consequent associated problems.

our life expectancies are quite a bit longer, on average, than those of our ancestors who accepted edentulism as a part of aging.

to each their own. if my dentist told me that the hot and cold sensitivity of one of my teeth would be the result of a fracture caused by parafunctioning, i'd be wearing my nightguard every night.