|The Cheshire cat as John Tenniel envisioned it in the 1866 publication of Alice in Wonderland|
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 in...in 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!