*Note – this story has a happy ending!
I had been through a particularly stressful year along with a root canal, tooth extraction and wisdom tooth trouble. By December I had developed bruxism, causing pain in my jaw, neck, shoulders and head. In addition, I developed chronic migraine, which meant that I had to drastically change my job situation and adjust to a life with daily pain. My mental health suffered greatly and I developed anxiety through desperately trying to find solutions to my pain. I thought I had exhausted all the options – physiotherapy, chiropractor, osteopath, reflexology, amitriptyline, topiramate, indomethacin, co-codamol, and many more things! However, upon a referral from my dentist to Jette at Holbrook Dental, to look at getting a custom mouth guard made, I began to feel more positive about finding some relief. I had a very thorough consultation process with Jette, with written questionnaires, a phone call and an appointment in her surgery in York. From the outset, Jette was positive, sympathetic and very knowledgeable about cases similar to mine and the options for me going forward. I had previously had a custom mouth guard made at my dentists, one which fit over my two front teeth. This had helped for a while, but I kept grinding my teeth and wore down the mouth guard until it was unusable, and I would have my jaw clamped in a very uncomfortable position at night. I feared going to bed because I used to get horrible dreams that my teeth were falling out, due to the grinding, and used to wake up with such a sore jaw, needing to massage the inside of my mouth frequently. The mouth guard that Jette had made for me was completely different right from the outset. It covered the whole of my bottom teeth, but it wasn’t awkward in my mouth because it had been specially designed to fit my comfortable bite. It was amazing to discover just how out of alignment my bite had been, and I could understand how the mouth guard was going to help. I wore the mouth guard as much as I could during the daytime and every night for 6 weeks, with a few appointments with Jette to adjust it as my jaw muscles started to relax. During this time, things really changed for me. I gained immediate relief from the feeling that my jaw was in the wrong position while I slept at night. I no longer had any nightmare ‘teeth dreams’ which indicated that I was no longer grinding my teeth. During the daytime when I wore the mouth guard I learnt to become mindful of whether I was clenching my jaw and then able to relax it accordingly. Running alongside me having the mouth guard I also started having Botox treatment for my chronic migraine, through my neurologist. The combination of these two treatments has been life-changing. My jaw is now relaxed and I don’t grind my teeth at night. I don’t need to massage my jaw and cheeks anymore. My neck and shoulder muscles are more relaxed. Whilst I still get migraines and daily headaches, the intensity of both is so much less, that I have been able to increase my working hours, social life and quality of sleep. My anxiety levels are much lower and I feel positive about the future. I would highly recommend anyone suffering with headaches, migraine, jaw pain and stiffness trying the mouth guard as part of a holistic treatment for your symptoms. It is an investment financially, but you will be extremely well looked after by Jette Holbrook and her team and hopefully you will experience an alleviation of your pain and get some of your life back as I was able to. Thank you so much to everyone at Holbrook Dental, and to my dentist for referring me.
Fiona (age 34)
My teeth clenching (bruxism) during sleep resulted in severe pain and two root fractures requiring extractions. I continued to have pain in my teeth, jaw, face, neck and shoulders, disrupted sleep and anxiety. I had difficulty in eating, brushing my teeth, even smiling due to the pain in my face and struggled going to work due to tiredness and pain.
My dentist referred me to Jette, thank goodness she did. Jette was wonderful, explained everything, reassured me and following some gentle treatment she skilfully created my occlusal appliance, which is an amazing, comfortable, snug fit.
I now sleep so much better; the pain has reduced dramatically, the anxiety diminished and I am not afraid to sleep anymore. What a relief, life is so much better. I couldn’t speak more highly of Jette and her team. Thank you.
I was referred to Jette in 2008, following a long history (thirty years approx), of grinding and clenching my teeth, which resulted in heavily restored teeth and a couple of dental abscesses.
Also, I have suffered intermittent head pain and left side pain since the onset of grinding. I have moderate hearing loss in my left ear. I had no clue that my left side head, neck and arm pain was due to bruxism. I thought I must have some kind of head tumor! Looking back I wish now that the cause for my fracturing teeth was identified all those many years ago.
More positively, when I was fitted (meticulously and expertly), with my tanner appliance, the relief was huge. I loved the robustness of it and the great comfort it gave me (still does), and the wonderful, quite unexpected relief and wellbeing I was experiencing. It was simply fantastic. I was so fortunate to have found Jette Holbrook, without her wonderful expertise and kindness I would have been in never ending misery. My tanner appliance is my most precious possession. I am so grateful.
The occlusal appliance makes a big difference in my life …… I used to get headaches, have a fuzzy head, teeth problems and tooth ache, affecting work as I had to leave early or even miss a day. Since the occlusal appliance I am headache free, sleep well and no more tooth ache.
“I have been coming to Holbrooks since I first started with a jaw problem over 10 years ago. Jette has been consistently wonderful with me, as have the whole team. I am terrified at having treatments but they have always made me feel comfortable and relaxed completely taking the fear away! I am very grateful for all the help and kindness Jette has given me. I will always have a jaw problem but it is so much better 10 years on thanks to the wonderful team”
The main effect of the dental work has been to completely get rid of the pain across my shoulders that built up during each night.
Before, I would often wake very early (from 4.00am on), always wake with aching shoulders that would hurt more as the day wore on, and sometimes feel so awful on waking that I could only sit and cry in misery. I grew to hate my bed and to dread getting into it at night, even though I was so tired.
After the first week wearing the appliance, I had a lie-in – the first for years!! And then night after night of wonderful, restful sleep. Now I can be sure that, most of the time, I will wake feeling less tired than when I went to bed, and that if I have a late night, I will be able to make it up, rather than add it to the pile of weariness. Sleep does what it should – restore and revive.
Various other odd aches and pains, e.g. in my arms, have also disappeared, but it is shoulder pain I am most delighted to be rid of. By making deep sleep possible again, the dental work has had an impact across all of my daily life.
My husband tells me he is sleeping with another woman!
He now sleeps soundly and all because of my night guard. No more tossing and turning and Jette takes great pains to ensure the appliance fits like a glove so you are blissfully unaware of wearing it……..and everyone benefits.
Thank you Jette
16 December 2012
Thank you for your information about the bite guard, it has changed my sleep pattern over the last week!
About ten years ago, Jette pointed out to me that my teeth were showing wear that was associated with grinding my teeth in sleep and at the time I thought I was sleeping well and that it was not the case. She commented on this again during my recent visit and I thought it was time I had it investigated. I was still not convinced that I was grinding my teeth even though often I would wake up with tension on my shoulders and back of my neck. Jette had suggested that this may be resolved by me getting a specially made bite guard. I am so glad I went through with this appliance. Since I started wearing it which has only been two weeks, my jaws are not as tense, I sleep much better and as for the tensions on my shoulders and back of my head, they have disappeared!
I cannot thank Jette enough for this device.
Approximately 10 years ago, during a routine dental examination, Steven highlighted to me wear that was taking place on my otherwise healthy teeth. He explained that the wear was caused by grinding, probably during the night and suggested the use of a splint. Steven enquired if I was suffering from other symptoms such as headaches or pain in my jaw. I had not experienced any of these other symptoms but as a lady in my 30’s I thought that it was worth investing in a splint to prolong the life of my teeth.
Once fitted I found the splint incredibly comfortable to wear and after a period of wearing the splint on a night I found my jaw felt more relaxed during the day. I have continued to wear the splint every night, and when it recently needed to be replaced had no hesitation in having a new one made.
“I have had my appliance for 18 months and it has restored peace to my bedtime. I now wake up refreshed and not as if I’ve been in a tumble drier all night!
I find it reassuring that there is less pressure on my clicking jaw joints.”
“Just a few lines to thank you for your advice and help in deciding to have the gum/tooth shield made and fitted because of my problem of grinding teeth.
Since I had my fitting I have noticed a marked improvement in my sleeping patterns and am feeling much brighter and refreshed when I wake up in the mornings. It did seem a little strange having the shield in place at first but over the weeks my body/brain has grown used to it. It seems a natural part of getting ready for bed to brush my teeth, etc. and fit the device before I go to sleep.
Overall I would say that the fitting of my shield has had a great effect on my general well-being and would recommend to anyone having that same problem regarding grinding teeth, to seriously consider seeking help and advice from their dentist.”
“What work of art weighs about 7g, is transparent, but priceless?
The surprising answer is my new occlusal appliance! My poor ‘bite’ and uneven forces working when I grind my teeth during the night gave me all sorts of problems including wobbly wisdom teeth, tooth ache, jaw ache and a generally uneven night’s sleep. Meet my new best friend, the occlusal appliance. The clear, acrylic appliance fits snugly over my lower teeth and holds my jaw effectively in place, resting my pivotal jaw joints, and stops further attrition on my teeth. Obviously a foreign object in the mouth does feel a bit unusual – I thought I was going to drool over everyone! However after 24 hours you don’t notice it’s there. The upside is that there is no more tooth ache or other aches and pains, but the real bonus has been a great night’s sleep. The only thing to wear in bed other than Chanel No. 5!”
23 April 2012