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I am dying.

Well, not really dying, but I am a bit dramatic sometimes, so in my mind, I am dying.

Of pain.

I have TMJ.

I have not been officially diagnosed, because I have not seen a Doctor or Dentist about it, but I don’t need an official diagnosis. I know that I have it and I want it to stop.

It all started several months ago. I began having serious headaches 3 – 4 times a week. I had unnatural giant knots in my neck so bad that I started to think I was growing goiters out the side of my neck. Okay, maybe they weren’t that big, but they were rather large. My left ear started feeling like it was clogged with water and everything was just a teensy bit muffled. I woke up with a sore face and jaw almost every morning.

And after all of this started, it never stopped.

Oh, and the worst part of all is that every time I chew ANYTHING you hear an obnoxious “cluck, cluck, pop, pow”. That would be my jaw making that horrible noise. It is so loud that it makes husby shiver and say “OOOOWWWWW, WHITNEY – Does that hurt?!”

No, husby. It feels like sweet velvet moving swiftly and smoothly across my face. Of COURSE it hurts!

I was napping on the couch after a long day at work one day a few weeks ago and husby was sitting next to me. When I woke up, he told me that I was grinding my teeth back and forth the entire time I was asleep. I had no recollection of it but was horrified. Since when did I become a sleep-teeth-grinder? Ugh.

So. Last night, I did the enevitable. I bought….

a mouth guard.

Yes, yes. I now resemble a geeky 12 year old with head gear and retainers. Ugh.

It is the kind of mouth guard that you have to boil in water and then bite down on real quick to let it mold to your teeth. That whole fiasco was in and of itself a disaster, and if you were a fly on our wall, I am sure you would still be chuckling. Whew, what a nightmare. Boil this for 50 seconds, let rest for 5 seconds, hold in mouth for 20 seconds before biting down, bite down for 10 seconds. Let me tell you folks, it was not pretty.

After all that, I was excited to go to sleep with my mouth guard in (yes, I am a dork), and see how I felt this morning.

Ask me how long I lasted with that blasted thing in my mouth?

Approximately 3.7 seconds.

I guess I will be a self proclaimed teeth grinder for the rest of my life. Unless they waste away from all the grinding.
I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. Oh my word - that sounds like no fun at all. I am so sorry...isn't there something that can be done for your pain etc.? Hope you feel better!

  2. That sounds horrible! I would love to see you with your mouthguard in! I bet it is huge. Those things never fit me. Do you have your old retainers? Mine were the plastic ones. Those might help and they actually fit your mouth and aren't too bulky. I hope you figure something out!

  3. I'm in the same boat. Matt says that when I grind my teeth in the middle of the night it sounds like glass scraping. Ew.

    No ideas here. Just jaw popping. :)

  4. You poor thing. I couldn't help but laugh, but only because of my own mouth guard experience. I lasted a bit longer than 3.7 seconds. I slept all night with it and woke up with a very sore mouth and the biggest puddle of drool on my pillow EVER. It was so gross. THe amount of drool on my pillow was equivalent to what I needed to mix with some shampoo and get a good wash and rinse for my hair.

    So, out went the mouth guard. I'm a teeth grinder too. Perhaps when we're 65 and we have to wear dentures because we grinded our teeth away we can offer solace to one another.

  5. I agree with linds8---take a picture of the mouthguard in and post for us to see! I don't grind my teeth, but I do yell, scream, kick and punch. (i have terrible dreams) In fact last night I woke up yelling "GET OUT OF HERE" the other night I dreamed I was at a wedding and I woke up saying "let me just get my camera" Dave always gets a kick out of what I say/YELL in my sleep! Mine however, is not painful :(

  6. awww... not fun! i have tmj also but it mainly hurts when i eat. i've just kinda learned to deal with it. :(

  7. Hey Jon grinds his teeth so he had a mouth guard made for him by his dentist it is smaller than the sport mouth guards which he would grind through in two nights. He has had his for four years. It has helped the headaches and it has allowed me to sleep the noise was indescribable.
    I hope you find a solution.

  8. I wasn't sure what TMJ was so I Googled it. I saw that they are using Botox to help treat it. If you decide to go that route and don't use all the Botox...can my face have it???

  9. poor thing :( so sorry you're suffering. i've grinded my teeth my whole life. no tmj, though. it might take that for me to buy a mouth guard...or my husband MAKING me get one when i wake him up all the time!

  10. I totally used to be a teeth clencher/grinder with horrid TMJ problems! But I went to the dentist and they made me this mouth guard that keeps your teeth about 1/4 of an inch apart, and after wearing it for a year or so, I didn't need to wear it anymore because my muscles had been "trained" to not clench and grind! Changed my life forever :)

    Oh, and a good physical therapist could help a lot! Betcha didn't know we can treat TMJ! :)

  11. I never really comment on your blogs, but I can really relate to this one. You really need to have this treated ASAP. When I was in high school, my TMJ got so bad that I would wake up in the morning with my jaw locked shut. It was awful and painful. Don't try to "just deal with it" because it won't go away. Instead, go to your dentist and have a mouth guard made. It's a lot more comfy than the ones you buy at the store. After wearing it for a while, you will probably stop grinding and won't need it anymore. That was a case for me anyway. Good luck!

  12. Oh dear! I hear that TMJ is no funny business, at all. You should bite the bullet (no pun intended) and go to a doctor.

  13. Oh my...Whitney, you need to go to a dentist...having headache's every day and being in pain is horrible. I don't have TMJ, but I get migraine's and thank goodness for pain meds.

    Take care girl...and hugz,

  14. :( I hope you feel better soon! That sounds miserable!

  15. Yet another thing we have in common. I have horrible TMJ. My jaw has been popping for years. I finally went to the dentist for it after my headaches became so severe and my jaw was just too tired to move. Luckily my husband's insurance covered half the cost of a mouth guard. It was still a lot of out of pocket money and I think I lasted about as long as you did with it in my mouth. Horrible. I hated it. I'm supposed to go to the dentist to get it adjusted but I haven't found/made the time yet. I don't want it in my mouth! :)

  16. tney, I have never been diagnosed with it but I am POSISTIVE I have TMJ as well. I had all those symptoms you have...and hten my jaw started LOCKING where I can't open it more than an inch or so. It is scary and I probably need to have the big ol' surgery for it. Ugh. I tried a mouth guard out once too...not good.

    -this is Becky C.

  17. Oh! So sorry to hear you're suffering with TMJ. Ugh! I hope you feel better very soon.
    I just finished going through your final day of BC and OMGAWD! I'm in love with those gardens and have put visiting there on my bucket list.
    Oh and happy belated birthday to you! May this year be filled with lots of happiness, laughter and love.
    Ah, to be 25 again...sigh*

  18. Hi, Whitney! I love your blog! It is so cute and very funny! I found it off of Kelly's blog! The garden trip looked amazing!

  19. Hey girl I had to wear a mouth guard also. I just kept it where I could put it in when my honey couldn't see (lights were all out). My headaches went away with in days and wow it was amazing how much better I felt!

    I now have braces and can't wear one and wow I miss that little thing so much!

  20. find an dentist or an orthodontist that specializes in TMJ. start looking today. I would suggest mine but he is no longer practicing. someone somewhere can help you, and you don't have to suffer. I've been there. (I traveled 6 hrs one way for ortho treatment---long story. But now I have a life)
    hope you find someone soon

  21. i think my hubby needs one but he's already got the cpap machine to sleep with :) poor guy. hope you can figure something out to make it stop hurting.

  22. Sometimes my husband says I grind my teeth at night, and I usually do it when I'm stressed. Are you stressing????

    Good luck with the jaw!

  23. Hi. I've never commented here before, I found your site from the pioneer woman. I had tmj really bad as well. My dentist gave me a really great handout on things to try without wearing a mouth guard. (i've tried that's not pretty.) Now almost all the time I put my bottom teeth up against the backs of my top teeth pulling my jaw really helps! hope you feel better soon. It is painful!

  24. I had to go to the dentist & spend mucho dollars to get a "pro" mouth guard. Yeah, I hate that thing! Hardly ever wear it now, but it seemed to help. Fits on my front teeth...


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