Teeth Grinding Extravaganza

I’m a teeth grinder. At night, I have to wear a mouth guard, because I do my darnedest in my sleep to grind my teeth into oblivion. I grind so much, I literally ground through my first night guard. Had to upgrade to a harder one. The theory was that I would only need to wear that one for a half year or so to “train my mouth” so that it stopped wanting to grind at night.

My mouth turned out to be about as trainable as a rabid badger. A hungry, rabid badger with really sharp teeth. (Because that’s what happens to your mouth for the first while when you grind your teeth. Or at least, that’s what happened to my teeth. My canines got sharper. This makes biting my lips sometimes particularly painful . . .) Longterm, of course, grinding your teeth eventually wears them down, and that’s no good at all.

But anyway. Teeth. Grinding. Me. You get the picture.

Over the course of the pandemic, it appears I’ve begun to take teeth grinding to eleven. Somehow, I’m grinding my teeth during the day now and not even realizing it. I know I’m doing it, because I know how my teeth feel after I’ve been grinding. Usually I’d have that feeling after a night when I forgot to put in my mouth guard. (Hardly ever happens now.) Now I’ll discover myself with that feeling after a few hours of working on the computer, being really focused.

I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. Maybe take more deep breaths? I’d go on a vacation, but . . . that’s not really happening at the moment. For now, I’m trying to be mindful of it and remind myself to take frequent breaks and calm down. It’s not that I feel really wound up the whole time. I mean, I’m stressed, but I’m handling it, right? Except I must not be, because my mouth tells a different story.

I have to continually remember that this pandemic is really affecting people in ways that you just can’t see by glancing at a person. That so many people are carrying around extra mental baggage because of it. The more we can treat each other civilly and choose not to get bent out of shape over things that don’t matter, the better. (Or even not getting bent out of shape over things that *do* matter, honestly.)

Maybe that’ll help me not break any teeth in the near future . . .


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