You might think this post is going to be about getting back to work after the weekend…and you’d be wrong. It’s actually about my teeth.
When I took Maya to the dentist, I too had my appointment. The dental hygienist didn’t for once give me guff about not flossing enough, even though I NEVER floss enough. She cleaned my teeth with the high-powered water stream, flossed, and polished and went about her merry way.
Then the dentist came to take a look and poked and prodded around for a bit, and said something to the effect of, “Well, I don’t see any cavities, but since you grind your teeth, you might run into problems later. You should get a night guard.”
My immediate response was, “Well, I used to grind, but I don’t anymore” – which is true. For the most part. I don’t grind anymore (at least not to my knowledge, and Richard hasn’t complained), but I do clench my jaw, which can have the same effect.
Several years ago…I was at a period in my life where I wasn’t sure where to turn professionally. I was good at what I was doing, but wasn’t happy in some ways, and a stress case a lot of the time. And rather than, say, talking about that openly, I ground the enamel off my teeth. My ex used to have to wake me up in the middle of the night to stop, and sometimes I would wake myself up. Where many people’s teeth have cute little nooks and crannies with which to chew their vittles, I have near flat molars. All from stress that I internalized. I ended up quitting the job, moving on to something new, and the grinding subsided.
When Dr. Z said this again, I became somewhat defensive because the professional situation isn’t the same in anyway…but when I thought about it again, there are definitely some similarities. I’m in a better place now personally, so I think that’s why I’m just clenching my jaw as opposed to grinding – I don’t internalize as much, and the situation is not as dire. But it’s still a situation that I need to address.
A few days after the appointment when I was cleaning out a drawer, I randomly found a package with a night guard I had ordered online, but that had gone unused. I remember using the second one that was in the package last time I was grinding away on my chompers, but unfortunately the things are so damn uncomfortable, I gave up.
And in reality, the guard is just a band-aid. I need to root out the cause and treat that instead. Though I suspect doing that will be even more uncomfortable than the guard.