I debated not talking about this at all, but after the week I had, then after reading Amy's post, I decided to tell you about this week from hell! Here's the thing...I've been wanting to do Five on Friday for a few weeks but Friday's have been too busy. And it just happens that Amy posted a story about how she clenches her jaw, and has tmj pain. She posted it today, the day I decided to link up to her blog. So I decided the story is worth telling. If you're not into it, skip the red.
I wore braces as a child, but I didn't get a retainer until about ten years ago. My teeth started shifting and I was actually getting a gap between my two front teeth. I wore the retainer religiously at first, then off and on, then only before an orthodontist appointment. I hate it. I don't like all that crap in my mouth, and I'm 57. I'm tired of it.
I also had a mouth guard made that I also hate to wear. And the thing is, the mouth guard isn't aligned properly with the retainer. I've had a cap put on my tooth since the mouth guard was made, so the retainer has been modified quite a lot. I never knew which to wear. I quit wearing the mouth guard completely.
I still clench my jaw.
As Amy stated, there doesn't have to be a reason. You might be having the perfect week ever, and you'll wake up with your jaw clenched so tightly you can hardly open your mouth. Stress certainly makes it worse, but you don't have to be stressed to have it.
IT IS NOT GOOD ON YOUR TEETH.
On Tuesday of last week, I went to the orthodontist. I hadn't worn my lower retainer in years. He re-fitted it and tried it and said if I wanted to wear it I could. Well, I had a low-grade headache for three days and decided I didn't want to wear it, right now at least. Looking back, I think that is when my back tooth might have been compromised. Not the ortho's fault. A retainer doesn't crack a tooth, but my headache started that day. By Thursday evening my teeth were hurting. If you have sensitive teeth, which I do, and if you clench, then your teeth, jaw, and head will sometimes radiates pain. You figure it's the same old tmj issues and it'll go away. I wore my top retainer Thursday evening because even wearing it, I find that I don't clench as often.
Friday it was still hurting. I popped a couple of Ibuprofin in hopes that it would help and started preparing for Easter. I had 26 people coming over Sunday. By Saturday it was hurting a lot more, but it was Easter weekend so I popped some more Ibuprofin.
By Sunday...it was bad. Four Ibuprofin didn't touch the pain. As soon as everyone left I went to the pharmacy and got some Maximum Strength Ambesol. Didn't help.
I called my dentist. I would have paid him triple time to work on the Easter Holiday. I got a recording. He is "going to be on Spring Break until April 4 and I could call any one of the three dentists...blah blah blah!"
I ended up calling a friend whose husband is a dentist.
He said he would work me in on Monday morning.
During the night on Sunday, I took four Hydrocodone from an old prescription I had, which was still good btw, but four is way too many. (but the script did state 1 or 2 every 4 to 6 hours)
They didn't help. It really felt like someone crushed my skull at this point. I probably slept three hours and when I woke up that morning I got as far as the shower before I started dry heaving and throwing up bile.
Plus I was light headed.
When I got to the dentist I sat in the car while my Shug went in and waited for them to call my name. I got sick twice on the way to the dentist.
They had an empty room and a bag waiting on me, and I got sick again.
I waited in the bathroom for my friend, The Dentist, and he came in there and asked one of the ladies to get me a cold rag.
They got x-rays, quickly, and figured out what tooth was causing the pain. You know how they blow that cold air on your teeth...Yep! I went through the roof! He then immediately started numbing the area. I had a cracked tooth. It was NOT TMJ at all. He had to end up pulling the tooth so you can imagine how I must have felt. I haven't had a tooth pulled for 40 years.
After I was numb and the pain was gone, I started shaking terribly in the dentist chair. Freezing, teeth chattering, and I could not make it stop. I did that three times that day. And the dentist said it could have been the pain or the med making me sick.
BUT, after the numbing wore off, no more pain.
No more tooth, no more pain.
So, I say all of this to say if you have clenching problems, tmj, jaw pain, and you are told to wear a night guard. Wear it. The clenching wears your teeth down and at some point, they break. It might be gradual, although he said I should have went through the roof when it happened. I did not.
I think when I went to the orthodontist on Tuesday that might have started it, and just me using my teeth, as we all do, it made it worse every time I bit down.
BTW, when I was at the pharmacy I found all different kinds of mouth guards now. Some of them you just put in the back of your teeth and bite down. They don't fit all the way around your teeth like the ones of old. I still think those are best, and what I do is cut some of the back of it off, because I don't like them to feel like they are going down my throat.
Ok I'll stop now. I realize that was long but I find it worth telling if it just helps one person to not have to go through what I went through this week.
Now, for 5 on Friday!!!!
I spent all day Monday in bed, or in this room reading, sitting by the fire,
or snuggling with my dog.
By Thursday I did get to crochet at the coffee shop. This is K and her blanket she is making. It's gorgeous and I love the stitch. They call it a "corner to corner" blanket. I think I'm going to make one using sand and sea colors.
Linking up with Five on Friday. Click to see what other bloggers have been up to and join in on the fun!