Q is for Quick trip to the dentist
Yeah, total cop out. I’ve been completely stuck on Q and I’ve just got to put it past me.
So, I made my trip to the dental clinic that specializes in TMJ. My friend whom I would normally ask to watch the kids was out of town, and my appt. was at 8 am (far too early to drop the kids off somewhere during the summer), so the kids went with me. I grabbed a new spiral notebook and pen for each of the kids from my secret stash in the basement and we headed out. The lady who took me back to the room didn’t look impressed as we paraded through the office. But, I knew my kids wouldn’t let me down.
After an X-Ray, a bit of poking and prodding, much opening and closing and shifting of my mouth, it was determined that my pain stems from over-taxed muscles around my jaw. Many people with TMJ wake up in severe pain which lessens during the day. That’s because the grind their teeth or clench their jaw in their sleep. Me, I’m the opposite. The evenings are my most painful time of day. Ultimately, my teeth are almost always touching when they should not touch at all except when chewing. This puts the “closing muscles” (for lack of a better term) in constant contraction, which over time causes pain. Makes perfect sense really.
My task now is to be conscious of how I’m holding my jaw, to keep it at rest where both sets of muscles are in equilibrium. Otherwise known as, break yourself of a habit you had no idea you were even doing! Should be easy enough. I’m also supposed to use the heating pad for 20 minutes, three times a day for a while. It’s an odd feeling, laying your head on a heating pad.
I’ll keep you informed of my progress. In the mean time, thanks for your concern. I’m most thankful I don’t have to sleep with some obnoxious contraption in my mouth!