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Saturday, October 1, 2011


(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

The best laid plans of mice and men go awry when a tooth emits waves of torment.

Yesterday, I had an emergency appointment with my dentist. He ran all sorts of texts, including x-rays, and his best assessment at this point is that I'm so stressed out that I'm clenching and grinding my teeth while asleep and awake.

Stress does cause physical symptoms, including bruxism ("gnashing of teeth").

At the dentist's office yesterday morning, I received instructions on palliative measures to take. One of those palliative measures: Don't read the newspaper! My dentist doesn't know that I blog. Just imagine the advice my dentist would give me if he knew that I blog!


  1. It is actually the opposite for me, blogging relieves stress. It's like therapy

  2. Your reaction is understandable. How can anyone read the news and not gnash their teeth?

  3. You need a night guard, and to be very aware of your habits while awake.

    I don't think the answer is sticking your head in the sand! You need some respite from your responsibilities from time to time!

  4. Brooke said:You need a night guard

    The mouth guard will be the next step. They are available OTC.

    This morning, I awoke pain free. Thanks to the warm compresses before bedtime, I didn't gnash my teeth during the night.

    But when I'm driving (So much gridlock here!), I catch myself clenching my teeth. The dentist gave me a little gizmo to wear during the daytime, especially when behind the wheel.

    In any case, the palliative measures have firmed up the diagnosis. If I needed a root canal, I wouldn't have received relief.

    I won't keep my head in the sand for very long. The dentist did insist that I take a break this weekend, however. Therefore, I'm going to take a midday nap.

  5. One of the few talents I have is the ability to say at the end of the day: "Well, that's all I can do for today. Tomorrow I will pick-up where I left off." That allows me to sleep peacfully every night. If I new how to teach that to others, I would be super rich. Oh well...

  6. My grandmother to say: " Well do it tomorrow and if tomorrow doesn't come, it will not have mattered anyhow"

    It took me years to finally accept her wise words of wisdom. Grandmother always got more done than any woman I ever knew but was never stressed.

    I asked her one time about her philosophy on this and she told me: "I know who made today and I know who holds tomorrow so I don't worry about the small stuff."

    Once I learned to accept her philosophy I no longer had ulcers, no longer ground my teeth. My desk was clean each evening and I slept well at night.

  7. The dentist can fix you a plastic mouthpiece that you use during the night and during the day, which will help. I think they still do that.

    Stress can cause so many different ailments. I'm so sorry

    Right Truth

  8. You are not alone my friend, I have the same problem and my dentist told me to buy one of those mouth guards, but it's disgusting!! I grossed out.

    So, I am trying to catch myself from doing it.

    It really does hurt like hell and it is beyond miserable. And the horrid headaches it brings.

    I am sorry that you are suffering with this.

    Praying for you right now.

  9. No wonder I'm clenching my teeth! Take a look at THIS!

  10. AOW..night guards OTC? are you kidding? Normally, they take an impression and make one that fits your teeth. Please let me know about the OTC guards; it has to be cheaper than what I paid...then I stopped wearing it and the teeth have moved a tiny bit and the thing feels too tight now.

    Conservatesonfire, can you teach us all to ignore what's happening to America?
    I didn't think so. :-) (grind, grind, grind)

  11. Leticia,
    The misery is surreal.

    Those who haven't suffered from this problem have no idea how awful it is!

    Toothache, ear ache, jaw ache, headache, etc. Unrelenting.

    At the moment, chewing and talking set off more waves of misery.

  12. Conservatives on Fire and Ticker,
    I wish that I could follow your advice. I do so consciously. Unconsciously is a different story.

    I've been caregiving Mr. AOW for two years now. I think that the stress has caught up with me even though I haven't felt that stress consciously since early 2011.

  13. Silverfiddle,
    How can anyone read the news and not gnash their teeth?


    If Obama wins in 2012, I won't have any teeth left at all in a few months. Sheesh.

  14. AOW bite the bullet and get the dentist's (made for your mouth) night guard. Wear it every night without fail. Soak it in Polident by day. After you get used to it you will be a new woman and save your teeth too.

  15. Anonymous,
    The dentist didn't say anything about making me a night guard. Perhaps he wants to wait and see. It is still possible that the pulp of the sorest tooth is sick.

    I'm not waking up in pain now. I do, however, catch myself clenching my teeth during the day; I have a device from the dentist to wear during the day.

    Anyway, I appreciate your advice. I'm scheduled to see the dentist again on October 24.

  16. Because of years of stress on the job, just like you, I cracked two molars in five months.

    The repairs were expensive. I too was clenching my jaw muscles at night. Gave me a sore jaw and terrible headaches during the day.

    I got fitted for a Night Guard. Mine was not OTC; it was $200. That was five years ago. I wear it every night. I still wake up some nights with a sore jaw and sore muscles -- but nothing like it was.

    And I've not cracked any teeth since.


  17. Huh! I went to my dentist today with what might be the same problem. it might be that my old filling is the problem.
    I'm sure balancing parenting and blogging has a lot to do with the stress. Oh well.

  18. Edge,
    You, too?

    I'm juggling caregiving, employment, and blogging.

    Most recently, the two stress factors that have added more than the usual stress to my life: (1) the start-up of the classes I teach and (2) car troubles.

    But I have observed that I do a lot of jaw clenching while reading the news online.

    All the cloudy and rain haven't helped, either. The month of September was gloomy, gloomy, gloomy.

  19. Well, we nee to sell our house within a year and buy a new one in a neighborhood with a decent elementary school.
    And having to read Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear for the 1000th time when I have a post in my head is rather stressful.

  20. Back from Australia... Okay, I know you didn't miss me but I had to say that. Anyway, sounds like you could use a little Letting Go practice. Carrying anger or concern over what other people do is usually the thing that gets us the most upset and the thing we can do the least (if anything) about.

    Everyone does something stupid sometime. Everyone angers someone else sometime. All of us make bad decisions sometime. People we love get hurt, get sick, die. None of us are responsible for the lives of anyone except ourselves. For the care of someone, sure, but what their bodies decide to do anyway, no.

    It's all a matter of accepting responsibility for ourselves and letting others be responsible for themselves. Letting go. It's easy on the teeth.

  21. Black Sheep,
    I wouldn't say I didn't miss your presence on the web. I did stop by your site a few times and saw that you were still gone.

    Anyway, I'm not sure that it's the caregiving that has tipped me over into this state of stress. I'm sure that caregiving plays a role in my stress levels, but Mr. AOW is much better now than he was even a few short months ago. I can actually leave the house without worrying that he'll fall or have another nasty event.

    I am going through inordinate stress on the job, which resumed on September 13. There are also financial stresses, over which I have no control.


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