Saturday, May 30, 2009
Nervous Habits Anyone?
For most of the past week, I have been suffering from the results of a nervous habit of mine. When I am under stress, I clench my teeth in my sleep. I've done it for years. After my divorce the habit was much less evident. But, in the past year there have been many changes at work and much indecision as to what the future holds for me there. I recently realized that I am once again clenching my jaws in my sleep. Sometimes I wake and think that my jaw has come out of alignment and is shifting in my mouth as well...I've probably added grinding to my list of lovely unconscious toothy nighttime habits.
I woke one morning this past week with one side of my mouth sore. Three or four teeth were uncommonly sensitive to the touch but there was no pain when I bit down. Weird, I thought but quickly credited it to my nighttime activities and went on with my day. The next morning I woke with more pain. By the end of the day I decided I might just be getting an abscessed tooth because I had added sensitivity to cold food and even air drawn in would result in searing pain for a minute or two. I made a call to my dentist and arranged to be worked in the next morning. After x-rays and an exam, my dentist was puzzled. The tooth that was causing the pain didn't even have a filling or cavity to cause any decay. After I told him about my jaw clenching he concluded that I had aggravated the tooth myself. His advice....go to a sporting goods store, get a mouth guard and wear it at night.
Oh, what a lovely sight I will be. Good thing I live alone!
So what about you? Do you have any nervous habits? What do you do to manage them?
ps....the cold sensitivity seems better today...still there, but better. I have to drink using a straw. What a pain...literally!