I have TMJ*. I acquired (and I say acquired instead of developed because I blame this solely on my crazy boss, she gave it to me) this while in my mid-twenties, when my Boss at the time went psycho and started micro-managing, it got to the point where she had to be medicated to come to work, seriously. My stress level hit the roof and it expressed itself through my teeth each night. I would wake up with horrible earaches and jaw pain that radiated into my neck. My dentist fitted me for a bite plate, and my world changed for the better. Granted I can’t sleep without it now, but it’s a small obsession I can deal with. Over the years said bite plate has become increasingly worn. A hole in the front, interior cracks on both sides in the back. My insurance only covers one bite plate. Ever. For my ENTIRE LIFE. The hole in the front continued to expand in size so I decided to see if short of shelling out $450 for a new one, the dentist could do something with the old one. And she did. She put fake nails on it. Ok, maybe not fake nails. But she did fill it with the same acrylic that is used to make acrylic fake nails. For 30mins I felt like I had a nail salon in my mouth. The smell, ugh. THE TASTE! Double UGH! It was thicker and all the wear and tear was hidden under a layer of fake nails. I was a tad concerned how my mouth would respond to this change; I was also concerned how ingesting fake nails would affect my stomach. I heard from my mouth first. More particularly my tongue. I awoke in the middle of the night to a great pain. I had bitten the very outer edge of my tongue, and holy hell how it hurt! It made it hard to close my mouth because my tongue was raw and sore and even the lightest touch against my teeth brought tears to my eyes. At night I was afraid to fall asleep lest I chomp down on it again. And there were some nights when I would awake again, tears of pain bursting forth because my tongue had taken another hit from my teeth and new bite plate. I determined that my tongue was getting pinched between my bite plate and my teeth because the “repaired” bite plate had changed the way my teeth were sitting against it. This continued for a little over a week until my tongue finally healed. Every now again, like last night, I nip my tongue again. And without fail, I wake up because of the pain. It stays sore all day, because like a missing tooth, you keep “checking” it to see if it’s still sore. I think I’m just going to have to break down and shell out the cash for a new bite plate. It would be nice to have a new, non-yellow bite plate. It used to be clear, until I soaked it in Original Listerine. Which is gold-ish in color. Um, yeah. I know my tongue would thank me. My wallet certainly won’t be happy.
I can get a new wallet at Kohl’s.
I can’t get new teeth there.
*There is an entire association for this? If you read over some of the stuff on the website it sounds like TMJ can become a rather serious condition. Dang!