If you have seen the movie ‘sicko’ you may remember the man who was stressed after 911 and he ground his teeth all the way down to nubs. It was a sad thing to have happen.
I remember when I was in boot camp, I shared a large sleeping quarters with about 80 people. There were neatly lined rows of bunk beds. We would have to take turns doing four hour watches while others slept. I remember the first time I heard the sound of so many teeth grinding. It was not fun to listen too and it took me a while to figure out what that sound was.
Stress can make us grind out teeth and we certainly had plenty of that in Boot Camp. I’m glad those days were over. The military was a good experience in many regards, however.
My experience later in life with teeth grinding probably wasn’t so severe. However, it was enough for me to notice. I experimented with the mouth guards that you buy at the drug store. You use hot water to ‘mold’ them to your teeth. They turned out to be way too big and bulky and your body automatically spits them out some time during the night – thereby defeating the purpose.
You see, tooth grinding is a big problem for people and there are many commercial solutions that do not work to varying degrees. I mentioned my problem to my periodontist and he suggested a custom made mouth guard – which cost me $550 dollars!
It solved the problem of spitting out the guard at night because it was thin and actually sort of ‘clipped on’ to your teeth tightly because it was molded to your teeth using special material.
Here was the problem with this custom solution: It never fit right. I had to keep going in to get it ‘adjusted’ but no matter how we adjusted it, it put pressure on exactly one of my molars. All of the pressure from my mouth was hitting that tooth every night and I would wake up with pain radiating from that tooth. Of course, that worried me but I wasn’t sure what else to do.
Then, that very same molar developed a leaky filling – the filling was starting to break. I suspect, but cannot prove that the pressure from that guard was causing a kind of ‘shear’ on that tooth. This caused the filling to begin to ‘leak’ – which is a fancy way of saying it needed to be replaced.
If I am right about this, then that $550 mouth guard was useless to me and actually caused me more problems!
I decided this was NOT a good solution and stopped wearing it. I had to train myself not to grind at night. And it worked sometimes. I found that when I turn on my side, the grinding increased. When you are asleep you just don’t care enough to prevent yourself from turning on your side.
I read one training manual on how to stop grinding. Click here to read more about it. Don’t sign up for the email course. Not necessary. What I didn’t like about this guide was that it had a lot of errors in it in terms of grammar and syntax, but he has updated it since then. These techniques that he teaches have an effect, but I can’t say they stopped my grinding 100%. However, if you have a severe grinding problem and you have already tried those drug store guards are they are not working, it is worth a try. Next, learn more about improving your dental health through the links below:
David Snape is the author of the book: What You Should Know about Gum Disease. ISBN: 978-0981485508 – Available online at most book retailer sites. It can also be ordered by most book stores.
Disclaimer: This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not intend to render advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or think you might have gum disease or any other health problem, visit your periodontist or physician for advice, diagnosis and treatment. The USFDA has not evaluated statements about products in this article.