I Grind my Teeth

I recently went to the dentist. It was really pathetic how long it had been in between visits. I will spare you the details, but let’s just say that I had neglected my personal health over the last several years. We guys tend to live like we’re superman and that nothing can happen to us, right? Well, I am not that unhealthy, but I am also not an expert at observing what my body is trying to tell me… Anyway, gentlemen, go to the doctor and dentist.

I’m sitting in the dentist chair. The assistant (not sure of her actual title, but you know, the one who does 96% of the job during your visit before the dentist comes in to say “Hello. Goodbye.”) tells me, “well they’re not actually as bad as they could be after not going to a dentist for 5 years” and then proceeds to clean them up. All in all, I had 3 cavities (to which my kids are dropjaw and can’t believe that their daddy had multiple cavities #facepalm) mostly because some previous fillings were shrinking or chipping. I figured it would be 2 or 3, maybe 4, so that was alright. I figured that I’d hear the “You’re not flossing, are you?” speech. What I wasn’t prepared to hear was this nugget of wisdom for the dentist:

You Grind Your Teeth.

What do you mean I grind my teeth, and how can you say it with such absolute confidence? The dentist obviously saw that expression in my demeanor. He asked me to put my teeth together tip to tip. He held up a mirror and showed me the fact that there was NO space between any of the, in fact there is an impressive perfect line that you can trace and see where the ones that are high and the ones that are low come awesomely together. He also showed where the teeth that should be pointy were beginning to show signs of being ground down.

“So how long do you want to keep your teeth?” asks the dentist, who by the way just met me 2 minute prior.

We talk for a little bit about the fact that I need to get a mouth guard. Great, I think. I know that he is telling me the truth and that this is something that I will need to do. In the end, he prescribes a $600+ dollar guard. After researching it a little online, I will be heading to CVS or Walgreens to pick up a $30 guard that sounds like it will be equally as effective. Yeah, I actually haven’t made the purchase yet, but have every intention too 🙂

Do you know why I have every intention to do it?

Because I now KNOW that I do it.

Seriously, I grind my teeth ALL THE TIME. I literally found myself in meetings and in the car and in church and watching TV and in the shower and cutting the grass and pulling weeds and putting my girls to bed and going on vacation and blogging and doing google searches on why people grind teeth –> GRINDING MY TEETH!

Literally, I would be in a situation and my teeth would fire off a message to my brain telling me that my jaw has a figure four submission move going on in my mouth. It is CRAZY to all of the sudden realize that you are doing something and HAVE been doing it for years without knowing it, but that is exactly what has been happening.

Well, this got me wondering what else I am doing that I am not aware. I have seen a few things that I need to take note of and address. We often go through this life numb to many of the experiences and influences that we encounter everyday. Some physical, some emotional, some spiritual.

It isn’t worth it to succumb to living life in a constant numbing state. There is so much more to this life than that. We need to take a step back and look at the sky every once in a while, shut up and listen to our creator. He made us wonderful and we tend to fight against His plan for our lives. He knows us much better than we know ourselves.




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One thought on “I Grind my Teeth

  1. I understand completely what you are experiencing as I am going through the same thing. I find myself grinding my teeth all day and I even wake myself up grinding, but also because the pain wakes me up. My jaws hurt almost constantly now. I am aware it is as a result of stress. I have tried to be mindful of when I am doing it, relax my jaw and try to practice some deep breathing. It has become a strong, powerful habit! I truly wish there was some quick remedy(don’t we all) for it. I understand that cutting my stress in any way will help, exercise to release stress, be mindful of when I am doing it and get a freaking mouth guard – that which I have not been willing to do but should. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.