Many women suffer from TMJ, which is better known as "lockjaw". This symptom results from stress and during the night you may clench your jaw while you sleep. This is apparently what I had done for the last several months and unfortunately, I wake up with sore teeth and have had a very hard time even opening my mouth to bite into a normal sandwich. Yes, "TMJ" is "lockjaw" as discussed in this website link. My jaw will make a popping sound and one time did get locked but released.
My husband found these Dentek mouth guards at Wal-Mart. You get 2 in a pack and each should last for 6 months. For $15.96 to help resolve this pain was worth it for me to try.
The mouth guards are like a soft plastic and not formed.
> You can soften the mouth guard by either boiling some water on the stove top or putting water in a ceramic mug in the microwave.
> When the water boils, take off the heat or out of the microwave and then place the mouth guard into the hot water upside down (the harder flat plastic part of the mouth guard is the bottom, so that goes up)
> Leave the mouth guard in the hot water for 15 seconds, but please use a spoon, fork or something to pick it up with.
> Carefully place the mouth guard into your mouth and gently press it upwards into the top teeth. It's best if you use a mirror so you can see what you are doing and to make sure it's lined up straight. Then after you have it in the correct place on your teeth, you bite down and suck the air out of the guard so it forms closely against your teeth.
> Open your mouth and with your fingers, begin to form the plastic gel towards the roof of your mouth, which is enough to expand outside the top of the mouth guard but not enough to form into the complete upper part of the roof of your mouth.
> Lastly, bite down hard and the instructions say to wait 3-4 minutes until the gel is cool but mine was cool in about half that time.
> Take the mouth guard out and it's now formed to your teeth and ready to use each night while you are sleeping.
It did take me one night to get use to this piece being in my mouth but it really is helping. I have some nights where I notice it more than before and find myself biting down more than I probably should but not sure if it's because I am aware of the guard or because stress is causing me to do so. Right before I began using it, I woke myself up because I had clenched my teeth so much that I chipped a small piece of my front tooth off. Thank goodness it wasn't enough to notice but I can't take any more chances.
Of course you can get one of these specially formed mouth guards from your Dentist, but this is working out just fine and at a much cheaper cost to me. The case in the photos is one that I got free from the Dentek website. It was supposed to take 4-6 weeks but came two days ago and within 2 weeks!
The only down side of this product is that you need to go online for the instructions on how to form the guard. I wonder about those who don't have Internet, so that's a big drawback and it seems they would have included paper instructions, regardless.
Overall, I highly recommend this product for those who grind their teeth, clench their jaw, suffer from a mild form of TMJ (you can ask your Dentist or Orthodontist) or even for those that find they bite their tongue sometimes during their sleep - which is another thing I started doing.
Of course, the best solution to those suffering from stress need to get that stress under control. I'm working on it.