I need help bruxism help!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I've been rather tense recently with an over-the-top schedule & Duckie struggling. As a result, I've once again started grinding my teeth. The result is that my upper & lower jaws & teeth on my right side are really hurting tonight. Motrin helps a little, but not enough. Icing the area helps, but I can't do it continually. I don't have a mouth guard. My stress level is down now but I'm finding it's taking a while for me to break the bruxism habit. Argh! Any suggestions for pain relief or relaxing the muscles in or around this area?
  2. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Pamprin is an OTC muscle relaxer, it may help some.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I do this, too. It does make your teeth hurt and mine will become cold and heat sensitive, too. I don't have any ideas for pain relief other than motrin, although you can take motrin and tylenol together and sometimes the two of them work. If your teeth become sensitive, use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth until they calm down.

    Here's what I do. First, I gently massage the muscles around the joint while opening and closing my mouth. If you're so tense that you're clenching to the extent your teeth are hurting, chances are your neck and shoulders are tense, too. Find somewhere quiet (I do this in bed just before going to sleep) and focus on breathing and relaxing your body...start at your feet. Once your feet are relaxed, move up to your ankles. I do it in very small increments...I actually start with my toes, then my feet, then my ankles, etc. I can literally feel the muscles relax. Do this all the way up your body and be sure to focus on your shoulders, neck and jaw. Sometimes I'll feel myself start to tense up again through the process and I'll start over.

    It's just basic relaxation and visualization, I guess. I've found that I can't stop clenching unless I relax my entire body.

    Hope this helps.
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    You can also get those overnight teeth whitening trays at the local pharmacy and put those in (without the whitener - unless you want to look like an Osmund! :wink: ) and see if that stops some of the impact to your teeth.

    I used to do that all the time and ground them down so much that my molers don't meet anymore!

    Good luck!

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I grind my teeth constantly. Not only at night in bed but all day long too. I can be driving down the road and find myself grinding my teeth. I really need to get to either an ENT or a dentist and get a guard but I am not sure if a dentist is covered. I have horrible TMJ because of it.

    What I did do to attempt to help this is go to Walmart and by one of those football mouth guards to wear at night or when watching tv in bed. I look idiotic but it does keep me from clenching too tightly at those times. I just chew the mouth piece...lol. I got the most durable one so it might last a while.

    If you only grind at night, a mouth guard from walmart may help you enough.
  6. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    If you can't afford a visit to your dentist ... try an athletic mouthpiece. The type that football/hockey players wear. You can buy them at athletic outlets. You boil then and form fit them to your own tooth configuration. I did this ... and while it's not a long term fix, it helps for a while.
  7. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    If you go to Walmart, they have a mouth guard you can buy for about a $1.00. It's better than the others. I have the exact same problem. It was so bad about a month ago, I couldn't even open my mouth from the pain. I went to the dentist and he put his finger on the muscles in my mouth and I almost jumped off of the chair.

    Problem is, I'm not comfortable at night wearing it. If I wear it while I'm on the computer and for a little while during the day, it does provide some releif.
  8. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    A few years ago, when I went in for my regular dental cleaning, and my dentist checked my mouth, he told me that I was grinding my teeth while sleeping. I was never aware of it. As a result, not only were some of my teeth very sensitive to hot and cold, but also, some of my teeth had hairline fractures.

    My dentist made me a mouthguard. At the time, I remember thinking what a waste of money!!! However, I believe it has helped me quite a bit. I'm positive I would have lost at least one tooth by now if I didn't have it.

    If you can afford one, I would highly suggest that you have your dentist make you a mouthguard. I have to admit, I really hate wearing it. Somehow, I just can't get used to having to sleep with it in my mouth. I just force myself to wear it. Most people really do get used to wearing one though - At least I've been told this.

    When I had dental surgery awhile ago, I didn't want to take a strong medication for pain. I have to be totally alert to take care of my difficult children. So, the oral surgeon told me to take 800 mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours. At high doses, ibuprofen really seems to help me. Maybe you could try this just once and awhile and see if it helps. If you decide to try it, make sure you eat something before taking that much ibuprofen.

    Hope you find something that helps you. WFEN
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I have to agree, when the need arises for me to take Ibuprofen, I take a lot of it. I take 1000mg at a shot just because of my size. And it works.. It is my pain reliever of choice for everything with the exception of headaches.

    I was also going to suggest a football mouthguard. Then I thought, nah, everyone is going to think I am nuts. Seems I am not the only one. If you get the mouthguard, you have the extra added bonus of protecting your teeth should you tackle someone in your sleep.
  10. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    as a dental office administrator, I have to caution you about using anything other than a professionally made night guard. Bruxism can crack your teeth unrepairable.

    other guards can ruin your gums and soft tissues and if they are too thin, you can be swallowing them bit by bit. go get a real one made at the dentist that fits you custom made.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TM, I did not know there was a word for this. I used to grind my teeth during the difficult child dark days. I would wake each morning with tooth pain that would subside during the early morning hours. Was not too distracting to my day though.
  12. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks everyone. I have to say that I've never had this pain so bad. My friend has pretty severe tmj problems, she said it sounds pretty classic to her.
    Here's what I've done: I went to the pharmacist who recommended alternating warm & cold compresses, take Nuprin, use sensodyne and try the mouth guard.
    Janet, I'll use this one temporarily until my regular dental appointment next month. I'll ask to have a mouth guard professionally fit at that point.
    I'd still love to hear more relaxation techniques, I think I'm going to need a full arsenal to choose from when I'm stressed.
  13. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Xanax helps too.

    :doctor: I only use that when I'm really stressed, at night. It does stop me from grinding at night. I notice there are some mornings that I wake up and can barely open my mouth to brush my teeth.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Dear Chomper:

    (true) story

    Once upon my life, I grinded my teeth. I've ground them so badly that I've had to have the teeth on the other side of my mouth ground down to give me back an even bite.

    When DF had back surgery they gave him a tenz unit. It's a harmless looking little black box with 4 wires on it. The wires have sticky pads at the end and the doctor shows you where to place them on the back for maximum stimulation and relaxation of the back muscles.

    Moi being (somewhat) of a genius took the tenz unit and with jaw aching I placed the 4 electrodes (2 each) on either side of my jaw.
    I turned the dial on the bottom and the smallest little jolt massaged my aching muscles. It was so wonderful, and I can honestly say to NOT set that tenz unit on the couch, because that box falls down between the cushions and on it's way the dial gets turned ALL THE WAY UP. Well there I was every other 2 seconds my face was jerking and contorting left, right, up, and down while I fumbled to try to get the box from beneath the cushions and you would think that you could just pull those little electrode sticky pad things off, but not while your face is jerking all over the place and about a lifetime later I managed to pull the entire wire harness from the box, but not after much damage had been done.

    You know how some high-classed women make faces when presented with something dreadful? Imagine that happening 4 times the direction at 10 times the jolt and you'll know EXACTLY what my face looked like for at least 2 minutes after I pulled the wire out.

    My jaw didn't hurt for a month. I think it was afraid to speak.

    And that's how you fix bruxism for at least a month. Just scare your muscles into submission.

    To this day if I walk under high voltage power lines, the mere hum and buzz of them make my face contort.

  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    OMG! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

    Stardude and the donkey....it's all starting to make sense.... :future: