I was at the dentist recently and, although my teeth got an A+, my dentist told me that my gums had slightly receded. Oh no! I am literally getting long in the tooth. :-(
I asked what causes gum recession, and was told it could be a) scrubbing too hard when brushing one's teeth (not me - I'm not that energetic a brusher); b) grinding one's teeth at night (totally plausible); or c) just plain old aging (ain't nobody got time for that). Since it's worth taking preventative measures, I decided to get a night guard made.
The last time I regularly wore a night guard was more than ten years ago, when I was in the process of divorcing my first husband. I had a lot to chew on at that time, and I tended to do it while I was sleeping. I doubt that I'm grinding my teeth to that extent these days, judging by the lack of morning headaches, but I do occasionally wake at night to find myself clicking my teeth together.
There never seems to be a dream associated with my nocturnal biting. It's not like I'm imagining that I'm eating raw carrots or something. I guess it's just random? If I have to exercise a muscle at night, I should train myself to do abdominal crunches. I could get a six-pack without any conscious effort!
I went back to the dentist to get impressions taken. That's the part where they fill two U-shaped trays with goo and make you bite down to get a mould of your teeth. It wasn't terrible. The goo from the top tray was bulging out a bit and pressing on my uvula, but I managed to suppress my gag reflex. Good job, right?
My dentist is also a naturopathic doctor. He's all about environmentally friendly dentistry. He doesn't use those silver fillings that contain mercury. One of his environmental purity rules is that patients must remove their street shoes in the waiting room, so that you don't track pollution and whatnot into the rest of the office. If you don't want to go barefoot, they'll give you a pair of surgical booties to wear over your shoes, but I don't bother with those. I'm happy in my socks. Especially when I'm wearing cheerful colours like these:
And then guess what happened! I looked over and saw that the other guy in the waiting room was wearing complementary socks!
I almost went over and high-fived him, but he seemed pretty absorbed in the book that he was reading, and I didn't want to start anything that might turn out to be awkward. Still: awesome-sauce awesome socks!
I'm going back this Friday to get fine-tuning done on the finished night guard. The dentist warned me that it's going to involve putting the guard into my mouth, taking it out again for a tiny adjustment, and then putting it back in again "30 to 40 times". Gee, sounds like fun! But he won't be using the drill, so I won't be complaining.