dental night guard
Bug Girl, go for the night guard before it's too late. I am 45 now. At 39 I started grinding and clinching my teeth, although I was not aware of it. Within a year I noticed that my gumlines had receded a bit. The suggested a night guard, but he was so ambivalent about it that I didn't give it serious thought. I wish I had! As a result of constant grinding and clinching I started getting headaches and stiff necks in the morning. But it all took 4 years to happen and I never connected my pain to clinching. Finally, 4 months ago I got tinnitus(the constant ringing in the ears) also a direct result of clinching teeth. My teeth still look alright and are not worn out or anything. So don't count on it as a sign! But the gumline on some of my teeth have receded so much that the roots are exposed and although I have a cap on the tooth, but now it needs root-canal. That means a major operation because the tooth is also connected to a bridge. I basically have managed to destroy my teeth and give myself all sorts of neurological problems in just 6 years (that will make you 46, not 80!) through grinding and clenching without being ever aware that I was actually doing it at night. Go for it! It's just a thin piece of plastic in your mouth. You will get used to it before you know it!