Last night was the first night I slept straight through in forever! I honestly cannot remember the last time that has happened. My husband says I usually wake myself up from snoring, or, he wakes me up because I'm grinding my teeth so bad that the sound wakes him up. Nothing says I love you like CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK whispered in some one's ear.
When I went to the dentist last month, I complained about the pain that I'd been experiencing starting from the bottom of my jaw all the way up to the top of the right side of my head. They took xrays and didn't see anything that might cause it. It's not a tumor! The dentist tapped on my teeth and there was no pain. He then squeezed the inside of my cheek and poked some bones and when I said "Ouch!" he thought it was because of my teeth grinding. He suggested I dose up on some Ibuprofen to get the swelling down, but when the best dental hygeniest in the Roanoke Valley saw it interacted with the Methrotrexate, they recommended I ask my rheumy for something else. In the meantime I should use warm compresses on the swollen area. He also thought I should get a mouth guard, but through the dentist office it's very expensive, and I feared I wouldn't use it. My rheumy did prescribe something, and after I picked it up I did a search on it and found it too interacted with the MTX and was bad for my liver which is already dying, so I chose not to take it. Thanks rheumy. Meanwhile the compresses were working, and I made a concerted effort to stop gritting my teeth during the day. I never realized my jaw was always tense, but I guess that's to be expected with a type A personality.
Some days were better than others, but after the previous couple of days the pain became intense again. Now it just so happened that I had some very intense dreams those nights. In the first one I was being chased by undesirables. I have that dream a lot, but in this one I also found a picture frame with a picture of my cousin JP in it. JP passed away last year and I miss him terribly. He looked so young in it and I was crying so hard in the dream I woke myself up. The following night I had another dream with him in it. In this dream he was speaking to me, but I can't remember anything he said. Again, I woke myself up crying. Along with the tears came the pain in my jaw to head.
I had made a comment on Facebook and one of my friends suggested I try an over-the-counter mouthguard. She recommended one by Dentek so I went to Walgreen's yesterday and found it for $20.
It was easy to mold. I had to boil it for one minute and then place it in the tray it came with. After dipping it into room temperature water, I inserted the tray into my mouth and bit down for two minutes to make an impression of my upper teeth. When I went to bed I put it in my mouth but was afraid it would feel funny.
Luckily it is not bulky and seems to fit fine. I guess it didn't disturb me too much because I fell asleep with it in my mouth. And then something magical happened. I slept straight through the night! My husband said I didn't snore last night, and in fact I was so quiet he put his hand on my back to make sure I was alive. Although the inside of my mouth is still a little swollen I don't have the pain radiating up to my head. I figure it will take a couple of days for the inflammation to subside. But if this $20 fix works I think my life will be markedly improved. I have my fingers crossed.
Thank you Anita!