Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Oral Fixation

I know I didn't update after the dental visit and that's mostly because it was amazingly good news.

After 21 years without an office visit, probably poor brushing habits, and constant sugary soda intake, I still had absolutely no cavities. I was shocked and thrilled.

Meanwhile, I do have a severe jaw issue. Well, I did at the time, but it's gotten better. I've always had a clicking in my jaw where the mandible gets caught up on the condyles, and something got displaced in there, locking my jaw in a slightly open position. I could open my jaw to different degrees, but never completely close it. And so, the dentist visit was scheduled.

The reason for this was tightness in the muscles of my jaw, neck, and shoulders which is caused by clenching my teeth all the time. Now, I too did not believe that I clenched my teeth all the time, but after the dentist brought it to my attention, I realized that I do it… lots. Not just when I sleep, but also driving and typing and watching tv. It's not super tight clenching, but it's so much more than I would have ever imaged I do it.

So, I got a bite plate. The mold making process was kinda icky, but not all that bad. The most painful aspect was the cost.

Today I picked up my bite plate. It's remarkable how comfortably it fits in my mouth. So, I shall start wearing it as much as possible and see if it helps out my jaw issues. In recent mornings I've been waking up to sore mouth muscles. I'm hoping this at least stops that and prevents my jaw from locking up again… ever.

But if anyone wants to volunteer to massage my neck and shoulders, I'll gladly take it.

I go back to the dentist on June 5th for my first cleaning in 21 years. Although, I still can't believe I don't have a single cavity. I can still never be positively identified by my teeth if I die in a plane crash even though I now have dental records. (The best they can do with teeth that have had no work is a conclusion of "consistent with".)

The coolest thing about the bite plate is it gives me something to suck on constantly. It's like… something I'm SUPPOSED to put in my mouth. Weird.

End Blog.

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