I had another depressing visit to the dentist yesterday. It started out great. No cavities, my gums were healthy and I got A’s on brushing and flossing, although I’m not sure why. My flossing stinks. I fib every time the hygienist asks me if I’m flossing regularly. I can’t believe I keep getting away with that lie. Oh, I buy floss. I just don’t use it unless I have popcorn or poppy seeds stuck in my teeth. Everything was great, but I knew I was headed for the dog house before I ever sat down in that seat. That’s because I grind my teeth in my sleep, and I had worn off the bonding on my front two teeth…again…within a month after my last visit. I’m wearing my teeth out, and I can’t seem to stop it, no matter what my dentist tries. She is at a loss as to what to do with me. I’m at a loss as to what to do with me. In so many ways. But we’ll just stick to the teeth today.
I am a grinder extraordinaire. I have been for years, and nothing I do seems to help. I’d like to blame it on stress from my husband and child. In fact, my dentist suggested yesterday that we look at my records and see if the treatment coincided with my wedding or Teen Angel’s birth. I can’t blame them though because I was about 20 years old the first time I had to have my two front teeth bonded, and trust me, marriage and motherhood were the farthest things from my mind at that age. In fact, I actively sought ways to avoid the two. Since then it’s gotten worse. I’ve worn a night guard for years. It’s a mouthpiece, kind of like football players wear, and you sleep in it at night. It doesn’t stop the grinding, but it protects your teeth. The first one I had was rubber, and I chewed through that in no time. I quickly graduated to a small plastic one. It lasted a little longer, but I had it in shreds in about six months. I was such a bad girl I had to have the rigid, thick plastic guard that doesn’t move. It IS sexy. It just screams “come and get some of this” to your spouse. I can’t tear through that one, but it doesn’t keep me from wearing out my front two, um..make that four now, teeth. My dentist has bonded those teeth so many times I’ve lost count. She’s tried everything but Kwik-crete. The most heavy duty dental compound is no match for my grinding. It seems to be accelerating, too. I’m knocking out the bonding faster than she can put it in, and my teeth are wearing down faster than ever before. She doesn’t know what else to try.
Out of frustration, I spent some time on the internet yesterday reading about tooth grinding, or bruxism as it’s officially called. The American Dental Association says it’s caused by anxiety, stress or tension, suppressed anger or frustration or having an aggressive, competitive personality. I purposefully eliminated most of my stress three years ago by changing jobs. I’m really not a very angry person. I just mouth about a lot of stuff, so that leaves a competitive personality. Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner. So now that I know the cause, what do I do about it? I scrolled through all the treatment options and found nothing new, until I got to the very bottom. Sweet Mary Sunshine! Can it be? A treatment we haven’t tried that has an added bonus? The Mayo Clinic says..and I quote…”Botox can be an effective treatment when other options have failed.” I can save myself from being a snaggled tooth old woman AND fill in my wrinkles at the same time? Can I get my dental insurance to pay for this since it’s for a legitimate medical disorder? Oooh! This is better than that A I got for flossing.
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