So I’ve been doing more research on teeth grinding (called “bruxism” I found out). Before I was worried; now I’m freaked out of my mind. Just, I need to do something – if I keep grinding at the rate I am I’ll eventually need dentures or something radical like that, and it will have an impact on my appearance. My jaw will be more square and compact. My fear is I’ll look like that insane guy in The Rock who was also in Say Anything.
The thing is, all these people say that the standard treatment, a thick mouth guard, is bad. #1, it’s only effective as a treatment, not a cure. It doesn’t stop you from grinding; as soon as you stop using it, most people start grinding again. The worse thing is, there are side effects, like it can affect your bite, cause headaches, earaches, more rapid tooth decay, an open bite, a host of terrible things that freaked me out enough to make me stop using my mouthguard immediately. I actually think my mouthguard is affecting my bite already, so I didn’t need too much prodding to stop.
So what to do. The link between stress and grinding is tenuous, and besides, I have very little stress in my life. Other factors include alcohol and caffeine, two things I very rarely partake of.
This site freaked me out. It basically delineates every common treatment for bruxism and why they’re bad, the permanent consequences of each. Has a lot of academic references so it seems more weighty. That site recommends this thing it’s like a light retainer with bad tasting flavor packets that go over your back teeth. When you clench or grind, you break the packets, which wakes you up (by the bad taste). Which sounds intriguing.
Thing is, the site is run by the guy with the patent on it, it’s not widespread, and it’s not particularly well regarded by others in the field, even though it makes sense to me.
So I think I’m gonna go with the NTI-tss device. It’s this thing that goes on the front of our teeth instead of the back. I’m a little worried about whether it will work on me, because I have a slight overbite, and there’s supposedly a danger of an open bite, but whatever, I have to do something and this seems the most highly regarded. Thing is, not all dentists do it, so I’ll have to go somewhere new. We’ll see I guess.