I have bruxism.
After some Twitter conversations about swimmers ear and TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder), I started looking at my own teeth jaw habits. For the last few years, I know that I have been grinding my teeth at night. Dentists over the years have gently reminded me that my teeth were looking worn and it was only after I started roller derby whan I went to the guys at Guard Ya Grill that any dentist recommended that I really should get a night guard since my molars were beginning to develop stress fractures. Night guard secured… who really wants broken teeth.
After my pregnancy, I had to get a crown for one of my molars that the fracture had gotten out of control. You know, because pregnancy ruins your teeth… lowers calcium levels and such. Damn kids.
It is only in the recent months that I have been seriously thinking about my oral habits… grinding or clenching my teeth at night (or while napping) and chewing on my fingers or gum. I really want to kick these habits. Know I at least have a name to go with the problem, bruxism. Not quite TMJ but definitely a symptom. I know that this could progress into TMJ, but my goal is to not let that happen. Lowering daytime stress levels, constant awareness of my chewing behaviors and continuous discussions with my dentist should help me head in the right direction.
Personal, I know… but the more you know.