I've known for a couple years that I have extra cartilage built up around where my jaw is hinged to my skull. It used to be just the right side but now it's starting on the left side too. It used to click pretty loudly when I opened my mouth, and sometimes got so painful and stiff I couldn't open my mouth more than half an inch for a whole day. That was about four years ago. Now it's gotten a little better. It doesn't click anymore but it crunches on the left side, like I'm always eating chips, which is annoying but not painful. The right side is painful, and is (not surprisingly) made worse by activities that require a very open mouth for an extended period of time like giving oral or eating something very chewy and tough like a bagel or dry pork/meat. Sometimes If I just stretch my mouth open to stretch out the muscles that get sore around the hinge, it helps the pain but usually it just lingers for several days at a time, and makes it hard to eat.
My dentist told me I need to buy a mouth guard for when I'm sleeping, and that that will stop it from getting worse but the guard is more than $400 and I don't want the situation to stay the same, I want it to go away. Apparently surgery to remove excess tissues or whatever isn't even worth the risk. My mom has the same problem as me, but to much less a degree. Hers is because she grinds her teeth at night but I do not grind my teeth, I only clench my jaw at night. I do not know how to stop from clenching it. It's natural. It is how I sleep. A mouth guard will not stop me from clenching. So what can I do then? It's just going to keep getting worse unless I can do something, and if it keeps getting worse, some day I'll be reduced to eating baby food through an IV because I won't be able to chew or even open my mouth anymore. I'd like to be able to enjoy bagels and sourdough again, but I don't know how this can be fixed.
Sent by NAERAE Sep 17, 2013
I don't know where you are from, but a local Walmart or other store that handles sporting goods have mouth guards for a couple of dollars. You just run them under hot water for a few seconds & put it into your mouth to form it to your own teeth & jaw. You put it in every night & when ever you have any dicomfort at all & rinse it before you put it away. You can use tooth paste & tooth brush to do a good cleaning. The athletic mouth guards work great & after a few nights, you won;t even know it is in. This way you both can have your own for under $ 5 dollars. It's worth the try.
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