Stress is unavoidable in the D.C. area, unless perhaps you are a trust fund baby with a helicopter.  I have mentioned traffic in several previous blogs; it’s a big stresser for me. I’ve also mentioned my house renovation causing me stress – is the plumber going to show up today? Is the building inspector going to show up today? That wall will cost how much?! I grit my teeth.

Last weekend my teeth started to hurt. They were sensitive when I ate something hot, or when I drank something cold. I bit down on a tortilla chip and YOWZAH! I sure wish I knew why my teeth are so painful; If only I knew a good dentist, I thought. The cobbler’s children have no shoes. 😉

I don’t know why it took me a week to think of it. I probably didn’t think of it as I didn’t mention my tooth pain to Dr. Urban. I was too busy regaling him with tales of my renovation woes. I used to have this same type of sensitivity when I was in college around finals time. In hind sight it was clear that I needed to use my night guard.

Some people might call it an occlusal guard or a grinding splint. There are many kinds, most are made of plastic, they are not unlike an athletic mouth guard, except the ones for nighttime are thinner, more comfortable. Mine fits on my lower molars and is very flexible and I LOVE IT. As soon as I wore it one night most of my sensitivity went away. .

Most of us grind our teeth at night. A little grinding is normal, but add a bit of stress and we can start to grind a lot. If you grind anything against any part of your body for a long enough time you will get a sore spot. This happens with your teeth. They grind against each other and the tissue that surrounds the teeth gets sore; the more you grind the more it hurts. If you put a piece of well fitting plastic between your teeth – voila – the stress on the teeth is greatly decreased, and the sensitivity goes away.

If you are having headaches, especially in the morning, if your jaw aches, especially in the morning, if you have unexplained pain or sensitivity in your teeth you might be grinding at night. If you suspect this and would like us to check it give us a call anytime.

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