I started grinding my teeth in the daytime back around 2005. When I realize that I am doing it I stop, just to find myself doing it again and again and again during the course of each day. Can anybody offer helpful advice?
Here is a little background. I don't know if it is necessarily related.
In 2003 or 2004 when I was about 53, I had my upper front 7 or 8 teeth capped because they were breaking down from wear and tear. The dentist wanted to do the lowers also but because they were not worn as bad and I could not afford it at that time, he ground the 6 lower front teeth down considerably to enable proper shearing function and closing etc.
Of course today I am told it will cost me $20,000 to get the lowers capped because my entire jaw is now out of wack. (Insurance will pay only $1,000.)
I don't have TMJ that I am aware of. But I am driving myself a little nuts (as well as anyone within earshot of me) with my grinding and I am concerned that I will have to have the lower teeth removed entirely if I don't stop.
First you're clenching, then grinding....I can relate, but I've not done damage. I tend to chew the inside of my lips. Chewing gum helps when I'm out and about or doing something that's more mentally stressing.
My husband clenches and used to grind in his sleep some 20 years ago. The dentist said to him, "look what you did, you ruined a perfectly good tooth!"...
I can only suggest you be aware constantly, maybe chewing gum will help...because we tend to not bite down quite as hard.
It's basis is stress/distress...it's how we cope. Maybe putting your money toward massage, accupuncture, exercise, relaxation, etc can help.
Maybe even biofeedback?
Hope it improves for you.
It's all a matter of perspective!
The Following User Says Thank You to quincy For This Useful Post: tttt3 (02-20-2012)
I find this very difficult to explain but I guess it is a kind of grinding. I bite on the back of my top front teeth with my lower teeth. I have an indentation on the back of my top front teeth and get a lot of headaches from this. This is all done during the day, but I'm not always aware that I'm doing it.