I’ve been trying to figure out my headaches for a while now, and I think I might have reached, if not the answer, then an answer that should help me have less of them. I know that I have a lot of tension in my neck, especially on the left side. I know that I tend to have headaches on that side that radiate from my face down my neck, sometimes including the temple, sometimes including the right side, but mostly just a direct line from facial sinuses to neck and shoulder.
What I didn’t know, until my husband told me a couple weeks ago, was that I’ve been grinding my teeth in my sleep. He insisted that I order a mouth guard online as soon as possible, and I did – though I was tempted to just wait until my dentist appointment the next week. Ambrose considers that the best mouth guards are the ones that you heat and mold to your own teeth, and that the ones from the dentist are probably a rip off.
On the other hand, I do have dental insurance so I might as well use it.
I readily believed Ambrose when he told me that he woke up to hear me loudly grinding my teeth. It’s not only the headaches, but that for most of my life, my mom has worn a night guard because she grinds her teeth. I guess I get to blame her for it 🙂
When I did to go the dentist, it was time for a panographic x-ray. And that x-ray revealed that not only have I been grinding my teeth, resulting in some wear on the surfaces, but I’ve been grinding my jaw, resulting in a visible difference between my right and left side in the bones. As the hygienist pointed out, on the right, the bone was nice and round, while on the left it was narrower and pointier.
The dentist recommended going with a night guard from them because the one I had was chewy, and the tendency people have when something chewy is in their mouth is to chew it. That logic seemed sound to me, so I asked them to check with my insurance to see if I have coverage for a night guard.
Then, of course, I checked my coverage online, and after about 30 minutes of trying to figure out where I could view my actual dental coverage contract and what the technical term for a night guard is (occlusal guard, fancy), I found that I do have coverage for it, and that it will probably come out to paying the same as for a premium one I could buy online. It depends on how much my dentist charges. But it’s nice the insurance will cover something.
Ambrose was pretty pleased with himself when I told him that the dentist had confirmed his suspicions about the teeth grinding. He’s been calling me gnasher.
Since I’ve been wearing the mouth guard that the dentist doesn’t approve of, I’ve been feeling better. Only one headache (on the day I went to the dentist). And it feels like the muscles on the left side of my neck are releasing some tension. And though the headaches haven’t gone away completely yet, they don’t feel quite as severe as before I started wearing the mouth guard overnight. I’m ready to take the plunge on the night guard, even if it means I’m turning out like my mom.