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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, haven't been over to this forum before but hoping someone can help.
Are there any alternatives to plastic mouthguards for nighttime tooth grinding? I bought a cheap sports-type mouthguard, but I'm kind of a plastic-o-phobe and the thought of having my mouth full of plastic all night does not appeal to me. I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
 

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i actually have one that is fitted to my mouth. but i never wear it.

the dentist who fitted me also recommended biofeedback therapy - bruxism (tooth grinding) is usually caused by stress. i haven't done this, but i am more attuned to my stress levels.
 

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YOGA! I wore a $600 fitted mouth gaurd for ten years. When it finally broke, we were broke too, so I decided to just grow up and stop using my "crutch." I started my yoga practice up again THAT DAY. I also have been very conscious of clenching during the day, and very serious about doing relaxation exercises as I'm going to sleep(going muscle group by muscle group all through my head, neck, and back esp.) and to remind myself NOT TO CLENCH OR GRIND WHILE I'M SLEEPING. This combo has really worked. And, my dh has had one very large tumor removed from his abdomen since, and will have to again. This causes a lot of stress, but I've been okay, because I've been conscious of it, and have done what I needed to do to keep myself from internalizing it. Also, sugar and caffeine are two big triggers, or so says my tmj specialist. Wouldn't know. I'm hypoglycemic, so I really aviod those anyway. But, if you consume them you might want to try avoidance along with exercise, relaxation, etc. Good luck! If you DO go the way of the mouth gaurd, DO get the ones fitted to you. The dentist takes pains to make sure that the pressure points in your mouth are balanced and your bite is optimum to minimize stress to your cranial muscles and joints. Worth the money, if you have it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, that's interesting. I don't have the money for a fitted mouthguard. The thing about stress makes sense. But I'm not even sure I grind my teeth. I don;t have any of the headaches or muscle aches it can cause, and no one has ever told me I grind my teeth in my sleep (my dh is such a heavy sleeper though, I doubt he'd notice!). My front teeth are getting transparent at the bottom and my dentist suggested trying a mouthguard for a while.
 

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While the suggestion to 'grow up' is an interesting one, I would suggest looking at your stress levels and the correlation to your sleep pattern.
Some people are just clenchers and grinders.
The plastic mouth guards that you can buy in the drugstore are sometimes more of a hurt than a help.
I would recommend getting to your dentist and having him fit a mouthguard - a lot of times, they are able to make these appliances right in the office - and they are much less expensive than you would assume. A lot of times, your insurance will cover these costs if you have an estimate from your practioner.
Good luck and I hope you're feeling better.
 

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I just hopped over to ask this same question. About 6 or 7 years ago, I moved and went to a new dentist, and practically the first thing they told me was that I had a lot of gum recession. I have since been told my 3 dentists (3 moves!) that this, as well as lots of wear on my molars, is probably caused by grinding my teeth. I said "no way I don't grind my teeth" but when I asked DH, he said a couple of times he has noticed that I do in my sleep.

Then I became super aware of what I was doing, and sure enough I often woke up clenching my teeth. I have tried and tried and tried over the last couple of years to STOP this habit. I don't think I'm unusually stressed, and I have never woken up with jaw pain or sore facial muscles or anything else like that, I just wake up with a big full-body stretch where I also clench my jaw (maybe I do that all night in my sleep? I have no idea!!).

My last dentist suggested buying a drugstore mouthguard, which I tried, but I found that having a huge piece of plastic in my mouth made me clench my teeth all night long which was hugely distracting and uncomfortable. So after a few nights, I went back to trying to focus my energies on relaxing and not clenching.

Anyway, I was just at the dentist a few weeks ago and asked about their fitted mouth guards. They cost $600! I can't belive that! But they do. I don't have dental insurance, so that would be $600 out of pocket, which I don't have. So, back to maintaining my super-awareness of clenching.

I think it has helped some, trying to really be aware of clenching (or grinding) and not doing it, and yes, stress probably has something to do with it, but I suspect some people are just more prone to do it than others.

Back to your actual question about the plastic - yes, they are plastic, and yes, if you fear the evilness of plastic, I think you have legitimate concerns. I actually had never thought of that before. It's only certain plastics that are the most evil, though, and I think this is a different grade/# than the evil plastics, though I have no proof of that, that's just a guess. The evil plastics are also the most "evil" when they are stressed in some way - harsh cleaning fluids, extreme changes in temperature (e.g. microwaving), etc., so just putting it in your mouth shouldn't cause any leaching of any harmful compounds. Just don't put it in the microwave


I would love to hear if anyone has any other experiences, comments, suggestions, etc,. about grinding-clenching teeth and those professionally fitted night guards. Thanks!

(and good luck to you!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In the last few weeks I've been trying to be very aware of teeth-clenching etc. and have noticed I do for sure do it and am trying hard to stop. I've also been trying the tongue-between-the-teeth trick in the night. But it's hard to know if it's working - I guess until I go back to the dentist in 6 mos.

Lizabird,

Quote:

Originally Posted by lizabird
The evil plastics are also the most "evil" when they are stressed in some way - harsh cleaning fluids, extreme changes in temperature (e.g. microwaving), etc., so just putting it in your mouth shouldn't cause any leaching of any harmful compounds.
This is exactly what worries me - if you're really clenching and grinding your teeth, the plastic is taking that stress. My dh used to wear one and it would get pretty chewed up over time. I also wondered if they were evil plastic because they're soft. I thought that might mean they're more likely to contain phthalates - like those soft plastic teething toys that there was all that fuss about a while back. But that's just a guess.
????
 

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I've been having a lot of problems with bruxism too in recent times. It all started a few months back when I recovered from a very prolonged bout of flu. I suspect it depleted me of some vitamins and minerals. It happened after I had chickenpox 2 years ago also.

So I did some research and found out it is usually magnesium, calcium or vitamin B5 which you are low on. It wasn't until I started taking B-complex pills that the grinding lessened a lot. Hasn't gone away completely though.

I am sure relaxation exercises and meditation would help too. At times it has for me, but the B-complex really made the difference so I suggest trying supplementation, along with the yoga.

Be aware that negative lei-lines can sometimes cause teeth grinding too. They can really affect one's health.
 

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We have a wonderful holistic family dentist, (no amalgam/ hard wire appliances), who works in conjunction with our osteopathic doctor. He diagnosed my TMJ and told me that it is hereditary! He made a small plastic gaurd (I think he calls it an "INT") and it has been a life saver. It was hard to get used to at first, but now I can't sleep without it.

It is true that caffein use, and stress don't cause TMJ, but they do make the grinding worse. I always had a lot of cavities, even though I had good oral hygiene. The grinding and clenching were causing hairline fractures that would then become cavities.The cavities would get filled, the fillings would fall out, and I then had to get a root canal and crowns. Then I would break and knock the crowns off, all because of the grinding. I was 44 years old before I found out what was really happening. My df and my ds both have it, too. The problem becomes worse with age. At first, it's just the teeth chipping and wearing down, but then the jaw joint becomes worn out, even arthritic, and can cause headaches, and face pain. There are several different types of TMJ and the mouth guard/appliance is tailor made to fit and correct each individual case.

I used to wake up with my teeth hurting and they were sensitive to heat and cold. I used a toothpaste specifically made for this problem. But there is a warning on the product not to use for longer than a two week period, and my blood was tested and revealed elevated levels of potassium cloride, the active ingredient in the tooth paste! Now that I have the guard, I sleep much better, and no new cavities. My mouth feels fine when I wake and the crowns are holding up much better. I wish I had foud out much sooner as I would have saved myself a lot of grief, not to mention my teeth. I'm sorry this has gotton so long, but I am hoping that my experience can save you from all the damage of grinding and clenching. Find a dentist that specializes in TMJ. Best of luck to you! HTH
 

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I am sooo glad I found this thread! That search button is such a help.

I was diagnosed a few months ago with TMJ. I would wake up with blinding headaches and facial. Didn't know what to think. Then I realized I was clenching my jaw during the day, probably at night too. I went to a VERY ritzy specialist. He really pushed pt, meditation and mouth plates worn day and night. Unforutan. my crappy insurance ONLY covers diagnosis. Oh but I could have all the pain pills I could ever hope for but nothing to FIX the problem.

So I've been working on relaxation, yoga, meditation and just being aware that I clench my jaw. Very helpful. Caffeine and sugar I never knew were triggers but it makes sense.

EV -- I have always had dental problems even though I was adament about dental hygiene. Its almost reassuring to know that TMJ all these years was probably the downfall of it all.
 

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This can be yeast related.

Magnesium supplements to relax the muscles can help too... many people are deficient in this mineral. Try "Natural Calm" or "Ionic Magnesium" both are well absorbed.
 

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I have lived with TMJ for over 15 years. I ground all the enamel off my eye teeth and was in pain more often than not. I constantly did the tongue between the teeth thing. There was very few days that went by with out a migraine. I managed to get through the day by popping advil like candy or taking heavy pain relievers or muscle relaxors. I tried many different dentists and even went to a specialist. I found out both sides of my jaw totally dislocate and the cartliage pad is not where it should be. I was put on Elvil at night because the specialist said if you grind your teeth you are not sleeping deep enough. I was also fitted with a hard splint. After the major pain was relieved and only minor discomfort remained I was discharged and told I should slowly wean myself off the Elvil. I ended up stopping the Elvil when I started falling asleep on my drive to work. I called the TMJ specialist and asked what to do when the pain came back. He told me to go back on Elvil. I decided there had to be another way. So after reserching I found something I wish I knew about 15 years ago. Magnesium. I take a multi-B and a 400 mg magnesium once to twice a day depending on pain. I use plain magnesium oxide, its cheap and it works. Just don't take it with a calcium supplement. The best thing is I don't get migraines, grind my teeth and am not in any pain. I hope this information helps anyone out there with TMJ.
 
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