Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Things that go bump in the night
One of my favorite stories about my grandpa: he was grinding his teeth in his sleep while he was stationed God-knows-where during WWII. He actually woke up some of the other guys in his tent with the horrible sound, and the next morning when they were trying to figure out amongst themselves what the racket was, my grandpa offered up the opinion that it must have been the palm trees rubbing together, knowing in his mind that it was his teeth mercilessly pushing against each other. And this was a plausible explanation- that's how bad his grinding was.
Is teeth-grinding (or bruxism, as it is scientifically called, which I learned in my recent research) a genetic problem? Because I have had the problem for many years now, and it seems like it might be getting worse. Generally, wearing a "nightguard" while you sleep at night should protect your teeth, and some people even say it curbs the problem. But I think I might enjoy (in some sick subconscious part of my brain) having something to mash my teeth into, and I think it is adding to the problem. Plus, now I am waking up in the morning with a sore jaw, and sometimes even a headache.
It's sure pleasant for Mike too. One time he even compared the sound to a dog chewing a frisbee. Mmm...attractive.
I think a lot of it has to do with stress and with holding in anger or frustration. This is apparently my release for all of it. Except it's not helping. I would like to figure this problem out. Last night I tried a "relaxation technique" before I fell asleep, and I actually slept terribly and still ground away. Now if only I could find some palm trees to blame it on....