Being a Reformed Nightgrinder



I never ever thought I’d plunk down $500 for a mouthguard.

Until my dentist told me I’d ground away the enamel on my bottom teeth and exposed dentin. He warned that I was going to get more cavities.

He promised the mouthguard would also help with my headaches.

It’s been 6 weeks of sleeping with a mouthguard and I’ve been grinding the crap out of it.

It’s amazing to see how busy my jaw is all night. To realize why my teeth always felt so sharp in my mouth.

I’ve had a nice reduction in jaw pain and temple headaches. Yay mouthguard!

I’m a believer.

The only downside is it gets a funky smell.

No matter how much I rinse it or wash it with soap.

And it tastes awful when I wake up. But that motivates me to get out of bed and brush my teeth.

So for now, I’m ย pro mouthguard.




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52 Responses to Being a Reformed Nightgrinder

  1. stuartart says:

    What’s the cause of the grinding?

  2. kford2007 says:

    Beats the heck out of losing them.

  3. Mae Clair says:

    Interesting. I don’t grind, but I do clench my teeth at night, so I can relate to the jaw pain and temple headaches. Dentist says I’m okay as far as enamel because I’m not grinding, but a mouth guard would probably help with the clenching. I know for them to work they have to be custom made. Sounds like yours is doing the trick!

    • Ugh that’s terrible. I think it would. Yeah, they had to take a cast of my teeth. It was gross, but over in about 5 minutes. The ones they sell in the drug store cost $20 and they wear very quickly. But if you want to test it out they are a good option to see if it helps before investing the money. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. My teeth would be ground down to dust without my nightguard, Kourtney. I’ve already gnawed through one after a few years. I’m a grinder at night and a clencher during the day…bad combination.

    • Jill, I’m amazed at how much I’ve ground it down since October. Oh that’s tough. During the day I seem to be okay but at night my jaw goes into overdrive. I’m a nail biter by day. I think that helps keep me from clenching as much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Must be all that suspenseful fiction you’re crafting in your sleep. It’s so intense, you’re grinding your teeth to smithereens! Glad you found something to help, funky smell or not.

  6. Have you tried soaking it in water with some bicarb in it? You know what a good odor deodoriser bicarb is!

    • I wish I could, but the instructions say do not soak in anything. I am allowed to wash it with warm water and soap only. They said the inside is a soft plastic that would be harmed by those kinds of things. ๐Ÿ™

  7. Sheila says:

    That’s funny that you’re grinding that mouthguard down now. I agree with Carrie – it must be because of all those stories that come through while dreaming. Good jaw exercise too!

  8. Ohhh headaches… poor Kourtney. I’ve had so many headaches myself I’m glad to know that mouthguard can help!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Take care!!!

  9. And ces frites….. hmmm (those French fries). Mon dieu!!!! And I’m a (veggie) burger fan. Kourtney, we really have to meet and eat together!! lol

  10. jmmcdowell says:

    One of my cousins got one recently and couldn’t believe what a difference it made for her. She swears by hers, too. But you’d think they would come up with a good cleaning solution for them!

    • In just 6 weeks, I’ve seen major changes. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t get why we can’t brush them or soak them. My dentist said to bring it in every 6 months with my check up and he’ll put it under the bacteria killing light. But that’s a long ways off.

  11. K. Lyn Wurth says:

    Hey, I use one of those, too. Maybe we’re grinding plotlines all night…fortunately the mouthguard doesn’t inhibit my writing.

  12. Reminds me of my Invisalign days, which ended not long ago. Amazing what dental doodads can teach us!

  13. Ally Bean says:

    I have separate ones for my upper and my lower teeth. They are wonderful. Less jaw pain + no headaches. Have you tried Polident to keep your mouthguard clean? Kind of works. But is embarrassing to buy in the store.

    • They only gave me an upper one. It works very well. I was surprised it wasn’t upper and lower but. I agree. They told me not to use anything but soap and water. Or else I risked destroying the plastic. It was so expensive I’m afraid to not follow their instructions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 4amWriter says:

    I had braces and had to wear a mouthguard. I always brushed it with toothpaste, not soap. Have you tried that?

    I’m glad it is helping with your headaches. It’s amazing how certain ailments are related to a completely unthinkable issue!

    • The inside is a soft plastic and they told me never to brush it and never to use toothpaste on it because it would harm the plastic mold. LOL. Lots of rules around the mouthguard cleaning.

      Yeah, I was not a believer for years. They kept pushing for me to get one but it isn’t covered by insurance so I hesitated. Then I finally took the plunge. Glad I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I too grind away, night and day. The mouth guard plays havoc on phone conversations at work but I keep my case handy to drop it into when the phone rings. It seems to be helping as I relearn not to grind during the day.

  16. Try leaving it in a cup of Efferdent during the day; works wonders! Mine is hard, so maybe a soft one can’t be cleaned this way?

  17. I wonder if you could use baking soda on it? It definitely seems like $500 well spent. I’m a clencher/sometimes grinder. I recently plopped down $300ish for a lower retainer because my teeth started to shift and I didn’t want my orthodontia to be for naught. The old retainer that I had–and never used–didn’t fit me anymore. (Interesting that my upper teeth are just fine.) But I’m lucky because my gizmo’s a hard plastic and I can brush it.

    • I’m afraid to ruin it. They spent 10 minutes telling me not to do it and the label says not to do it, so I’m going to be a good patient and not do it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Smart to get the retainer. My lower teeth shifted too. I used to have one of those when I was a teenager, they are nice for brushing. I don’t know why they make the inside from such a sensitive plastic for the mouthguard. Kinda seems not too smart to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Mayumi-H says:

    Hey, Kourtney! I’m joining you in the mouthguard brigade. I’ve worn one for MA in the past, but I’m told the night guard is much more comfortable than those huge plastic monstrosities.

    Glad to hear it’s helping with those headaches. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I used to have retainers as a teenager so it was easy peasy to sleep with the nightguard in. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had something like a mouthguard at one point, not as easy or comfy. Me too. So nice to have a decrease in headaches. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Lori D says:

    I wear a clear mouth guard on the bottom (I don’t grind, I clench). It’s very small and I can even talk with it in. I don’t know what kind you have, but I clean mine (brush it) with listerine (fresh burst flavor). It doesn’t smell and stays fresh. Thought I’d offer that info in case it can help. Here’s hoping your headaches go away altogether.

    • Ah, a clencher. We seem to have lots of jaw tension issues amongst writers. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh that’s nice. That’s a great suggestion–but they told me no Listerine. ๐Ÿ™ Appreciate the help. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aw thank you. I’ve had migraines most of my life. The tension headaches going away is such a gift. 2-3 migraines a month I can handle, but the tension headaches were 3-5 a month on top of that and it was just too much head pain.

      • Lori D says:

        I wonder if my guard is a different material than yours. I specifically asked if I could use listerine and they said it was fine. Had it for a few years now. It does really help, but it’s expensive help. ๐Ÿ˜›

        • Is the inside soft? They were pretty strict on the don’ts list with mine and Listerine was a big no no. It definitely helps. But plunking down the $500 was tough. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Lori D says:

            Nope, mine is like a hard, clear piece of plastic. In fact, I have to go get it checked next week at the dentist to make sure my bite hasn’t changed. I never forget to use it. I’m pretty dependent on it now.

          • Nice. My dentist said to bring it in every 6 months to use under the bacteria killing light but theres just those 6 months in between. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a great device aside from the funky smell, but I clean it twice a day and that helps a bit.

  20. EllaDee says:

    Money well spent to save your teeth and stop the headaches ๐Ÿ™‚

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