Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smile, Darn Ya Smile

The Cheshire cat as John Tenniel envisioned it in the 1866 publication of Alice in Wonderland
This morning is day 1 of the 21 day pledge that I made to my dentist.
After several years of increasing jaw pain, neck and shoulder stress, tinitus (ringing in the ears) and a.m. headache I bit the bullet, or in this case the NTI.
The NTI is a small appliance that is custom fit with the purpose of shifting the bite to the front teeth.  This allows the powerful temporalis muscles to relax during sleeping.

I am an un-closeted clencher.

An often used cue to my yoga students during savasana: "release and relax the jaw, gently part the lips and allow the tongue to fall away from the roof of the mouth" works wonderfully well in conscious relaxation.  During semi consciousness and deep sleep,  that response gets forgotten while the acquired "bad" muscle memory kicks my case, jaw clenching.

During the night I popped it out a few times.  My tongue is playing around with the rough edges.  This morning I woke up, as usual, with a headache.  Acuppajoe cured that, but of course de-caffeinating myself is also part of the program.

My dentist also warned me to secure the NTI when not in use, because apparently it can be attractive to cats!


1 comment:

cookie said...

Day 12 and I am on the fence...
I notice less tension and snapping in the jaw but my I think the material is making my mouth sore, canker sores yukky!
The tension headaches slightly better?