My night guard is a customized, high density, molded piece of very hard plastic. It cost several hundreds of  dollars and is designed to ensure I have fully functional molars well into the future.

To the tune of “A Hard Day’s Night”:

It’s been a hard, hard guard!

And it’s meant to save my tee-ee-eeth!

It’s been a hard, hard guard!

But I broke it, yes I dee-ee–eed!

Okay, Sondheim I’m not. But I do, apparently, have pitbull jaws.

Yes, just the other morning I woke up, gargled with the bathwater of animated baby birds, pried out my nightguard and – ploop! Big old piece fell off!

So I made a trip to the hinterlands where my dentist has set up shop. I pulled the chipped nightguard out of a baggie  and sheepishly handed it over.

Well, Dr. Dentist intoned, you sure did a number on this one.

Yep, I intoned back.

Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it’s known in casual circles, has a number of treatment options…the nightguard being just one. There are also various therapies, medications, and surgeries to choose from. What’s advised? Don’t self medicate. Boy, did I pick the wrong day to quit doing mescaline.

I like to think that for someone who’s decided to swim in a sea of fish all struggling up the same river, for someone who tends to be fairly imaginative when it comes to the Future and What it Holds, for someone who has had a number of dreams in which she gets SHOT (various guns, crossbows), I live a relatively stress-free life. Relative, to, say, someone who dismantles bombs.

Stress is a part of life, and I get that. Often, I’m fueled by it. If handled with proper alchemy, stress can be transformed into a kind of turbo motivational speaker. Tony Robbins speeding.

And I guess, if I had to choose, I’d rather my stress manifest when I’m unconscious. Better than gnawing off my own arm in the cruel light of day.

Which would be no problem, apparently, since I’m capable of gnawing through my nightguard.