Monday, April 02, 2007

I'm a "Clencher"!!!

About 3.5 weeks ago, my jaw began to bother me. Both sides of my face felt sore and no amount of rubbing my jaw would make the tenderness go away. After a few days, the pain in my jaw began to bring on headaches...I think I've had a headache every day for about 2 weeks...unfortunately ibuprophen/tylenol are not helping take the headache or the jaw pain away. I finally decided I needed to see a dentist, so this morning, I went in. The dentist took x-rays and did an exam,...after asking me a few questions about how I sleep, he determined that I'm a "jaw clencher". Apparently, at night and while I'm asleep, I'm clenching my jaws together - I'm not grinding my teeth, but I'm clenching them so hard and for so long that it's actually causing my muscles in my jaws to be very sore and inflamed! Well - it's not really a big deal - my teeth look great and since I'm not grinding them there hasn't been any nerve damage. Unfortunately though, he said that the only way to treat it is with a mouth piece that I will have to wear at night. The mouth piece costs $500 and get this - it isn't covered by insurance!!! UGH!!!! I've been searching the internet trying to find any other solution to clenched jaw - I just can't fathom spending $500 for something because my jaw is sore...albeit, it's VERY sore and is actually causing me to feel like my jaw is going to lock up - but still,...$500?!?! Here's the other frustration of mine...if and when I decide to spend $500 to get the friggin' mouth piece, I will have to wait a full month before I can even get it! I know I'm not in the medical field, but a full month to receive a mouth piece...doesn't that seem like a ridiculously long time to wait?!! Ooohhh...I'm frustrated!!! (Lauren, sorry - I guess I need to start over on my 21 days of no complaining, eh?!)

14 comments:

lauren said...

I'm so sorry! That sounds painful and, to me, worth the 500 bucks. It's no fun to cough up that kind of money for a mouthgaurd (as opposed to decorating the house or cute clothes), but pain is pain! It has to be fixed! I've been bad and have been complaining, too. We had our bedroom flood for the 3rd time on Friday night, which was very frustrating. We also had a tornado 10 minutes from our house, so I guess I can't complain too much; it could have been worse!

Justin and Shauri said...

What in the world girl? Ok, I do the same thing. I have to wear a custom mouth piece too. Actually I've had to buy 2 of them because Jace hid my first one. My insurance didn't cover it too. It ended up only costing me $70 not $500! Holy cow! That is insane. You know you can buy a mouth piece in the toothbrush area of Wal-Mart. I think it's called a bite plate or something. I would call around to a couple of other dentists and ask them how much they charge. That's outrageous! So sorry honey! Love, Shauri

Lindsey said...

Shauri - we called around to other dentists and discovered that if insurance doesn't cover it, apparently it can cost up to $700 - we've been told that $500 is actually the discounted price!! My stepdad had a "temporary" mouth piece that only cost $60...I'm going to call my dentist tomorrow and find out more about that....if I can't get one of the cheaper ones, I may just go to Wal-Mart and see if the really cheap ones help at all!! Thx for the advice!!

Lauren - How frustrating about the flooding in your bedroom - we've never experienced that but it sounds like it's a mess to clean up!! How scary that you guys had tornadoes so close to your home - you're right - things could definitely have been worse!!

The Dawkins said...

OK...you do not know me, but I am friends with Melissa and was just checking out who she had as links on her blog...anyway. A guy I work with had the same thing grinding his teeth at night and they told him the same thing so he got a football mouthpiece and I think you put them in hot water and they kinda mold to the shape of your mouth and he uses it at night.....he has not had a problem since.....~Audrey

Lindsey said...

Hey Audrey - a friend of Melissa's is a friend of mine! (Ok, yeah...that was pretty corny!!) Neways, thx for the suggestion - I knew I wasn't the only one suffering from this which is one of the main reasons I blogged about it - I thought surely someone could give me some suggestions and sure enough - I've gotten some great ones!!

Hannah said...

This is so weird--I do the same thing. I even clench my jaws tightly when I run or play ball. The other morning I woke up with a sore neck. The pain started in my jaw and radiated down into my neck. I realized that I had had some pretty intense dreams and that I had clenched my jaws all night. I have never worn a mouth piece, but as I am falling asleep, I make a conscious effort to relax my entire face. It seems to help me. As far a a mouthpiece goes, I would try a sports piece or one from Walmart first. If one of those seems to help, you might consider a more custom fit piece. Anyway, good luck!

Kimberly said...

No wonder you were asking if Adam is really a dentist! He is in bed but I've heard him advise someone else on this matter so I'll type what I think he'd suggest for your dilema but double check with him in the a.m.
He said you can get a mouth guard that sports players use and try that first before paying so much for the dental kind. Much cheaper and usually works just the same to prevent from grinding your teeth. But...wait that is grinding not clenching so hmmm...not sure if that is the same. Okay-I'll update ya when I know for sure tomorrow!

Lindsey said...

Hey Kim - Thx so much for the suggestions!! And how nice for Adalie to have a dentist for a daddy - hopefully she'll never be afraid to get her teeth cleaned or to get braces one day!

Marie said...

Hello! I don't know you Lindsey, but I went to Argyle with Chad almost 10-15 years ago. Somehow (not quiet sure) I found your blog and it was neat to catch up on your family and what Chad is doing.
I have TMJ, and wear a guard at night while sleeping. It is INSANE how much they cost. But check around at some of the drug stores and pharmacies. I found a bite guard that was around 50 (after I got mine) and they look exactly the same. Good luck finding one!

Marie (Anderson) Clement

Anonymous said...

Lindsey, I feel your pain, from one jaw clencher to another!! I don't do it every night, but when I do, it is horrible, I'm dreaming that I'm losing my teeth one by one. The Dr. told me if it kept being a problem I would have to wear a head gear! I'm so sorry...I'll be praying for ya!
Sara Jo

tleaf10 said...

Hey Lindsey! I'm a jaw clencher too! I got a mouthpiece that just goes over my front top 4 teeth and keeps the back from touching ... I got it about 4 years ago and was only supposed to wear it for a while (oops!). I still wear it and if I don't, I get headaches again. I'm pretty sure it didn't cost that much and they molded it in the office that day. You could go see my dentist - he's great!

Lindsey said...

Marie, I'm so glad you left a comment - I'll have to let Chad know you found me on here! Thx for the advice on the mouth guard...I went to Walgreens last night and purchased a $25 mouth piece...the pharmacist said it may take a few days to see if it's helping - I can't tell a difference yet, but I guess time will tell!

SaraJo, it was so good to hear from you! I hope you all are doing good in Searcy! How's Zach's job going?!

Terri - I'm glad you and Melissa had such a good visit! The pics on her blog are great - can't wait to hear more about it on your blog!! As for the jaw clenching, I didn't know you did that too! My dentist recommended the same type of mouth guard that you wear - except I believe it only would cover my 2 middle teeth and would prevent my back teeth from touching. I may have to break down and get it if this cheap one I bought doesn't help. Glad to hear yours give you relief!!

Marie said...

Lindsey, My family and I just moved from AR to TN almost a year ago (crazy!). Both my hubby and I attended HU. He graduated in '00 and I in '01. I was an education major, Matt did computer science. We actually lived in LR. I have just started noticing how many blogs we both frequent. Matt and I love it- we have reconnected with a ton of friends, plus it keeps the family in the know! Your children are beautiful!!

Lindsey said...

Hey Hannah - I don't know why but for some reason, I am just now seeing your comment on the blog. Neways - that is crazy that you do this too - I guess it is really common!! (BTW: I saw the pics on Katie's blog of you and Katie and Will and her kiddo's - looks like you guys had a great time - Will is so cute and looked like he's grown even since I saw him last!! I was laughing because Shep has the same shirt that Will had on - they are definitely cousins!!)

Marie, I wonder if Chad and your husband had any classes together (Chad was a computer engineer major...hmmm...like I said, small world!!) Hope you guys are enjoying TN!