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I clench my teeth like nobody's business and am clearly really stressed at the moment as I'm waking up in agony every day.
I take amitriptyline at night, and 30/500 co-codamol helps dull the pain a bit (can't take NSAIDs due to stomach ulcer).
Are there any other medications I can take to help, either relax the jaw to not clench or better pain relief? I'm going to go back to GP as I'm really struggling at the moment.
I am going to try cbt after holidays, any other suggestions? I have a splint for overnight but making things worse at the moment as I've had a tooth out and my bite has changed and it doesn't fit properly and it hurts even more when I wake.
Definitely get your splint adjusted as soon as possible. I had 6 sessions of hypnotherapy to get my sub conscious mind to stop the clenching and retrain my brain to cope with the stress and anxiety which caused me to clench my teeth. It's the best money I've ever spent and 5 years later I still use the techniques that my hypnotherapist taught me.
I seem to have this problem since I stopped taking the pill at 49. It seems to be a menopausal problem for me - I was waking up with my teeth clenched like a vice, my shoulders tight round my neck like I was pulling up a cloak, and stiff and in pain.
I also have a lot of anxiety, waking up thinking 'oh shit!' and adrenaline rushes that have made me worried about ridiculous things.
I have summoned up all my years experience of yoga, dance and pilates classes to consciously rearrange how I am positioning myself and to relax the muscles. It didn't work at first because everything just 'pinged back' as soon as I stopped thinking about it, but I seem to have made a breakthrough. I also find that a bit of light exercise helps control the adrenaline, which also has positive knock on effects.
The meds I took and still occasionally take are amiltriptaline (a mild muscle relaxant) and also I tried baclofen (another muscle relaxant). They have been great. The doctor will also give you a proton pump inhibitor like omeprazole to help with your stomach as the ulcers can be caused by too many anti infammatories - which you need to cope with the pain. If it is too painful then I took 1 cocodamol (no more because I didn't want to get addicted) in the morning.
Re the splint - I have a cheapish plastic mouth guard which I got from the dentist. It has helped to reposition the muscles and relax them. However, be careful because if you are still clenching your face and teeth then you will just bite on this too. It needs told be a combination of meds, anti stress therapy and learning to relax I have found.
3 years is a long time to suffer - I really do feel for you - it's a horrible thing to have which many people don't understand how painful it is.
My dentist charges me £70/80 for a splint. When I needed a new one recently I bought online from Amazon and it was only £40. It was from DenLab direct. They send you a fitting pack then you get your splint. Tbh it's much more comfy then the one the dentist made. I hope you find a solution I'm currently on amptrypaline and codeine but only now have to take it when very stressed. CBT sounds like a good option if you were to use it to help deal with your stress.