“I was not,” I protested. “You were dreaming.”
“To dream, one has to be asleep,” he explained. “That’s something I wasn’t able to do last night with all that grinding going on.”
“Oh come on,” I said. “How loud could it be?”
“Air horn. Sonic boom. Front row at a Metallica concert. ”
I furrowed my brow. Then I shifted my jaw. It wasn’t sore. My teeth didn’t ache. And I felt very well-rested. If I was grinding my teeth, it certainly wasn’t disturbing MY sleep. However, since I do share a bed with someone, and plan to for the foreseeable future, I thought it behooved me to check out this grinding theory.
I do actually come from a long line of grinders, so it was not out of the question that I too had inherited the grinding gene. My dad is a grinder, his father was a grinder before him, and his father’s mother, too. In fact, legend has it my Great Grandma Tilly used to grind her wooden teeth so hard she made toothpicks out of them.
Still doubting my own grind-worthiness. I made an appointment with the dentist and went off to get a professional assessment.
“What do you think?” I asked him. Actually he had his hands in my mouth so it sounded more like “Wa oo oo ink?” but he got the point.
“You grind your teeth.”
“Whaaaa?” I protested. “How can you tell if I’m not sleeping?”
“Your teeth are worn down,” he said, holding up a mirror and showing me the edges of my teeth where I ostensibly have grinded my teeth to a smooth surface.
“Is that a problem?” I wondered.
“Only if you want to be able to chew your food,” he said. He then told me how the grinding weakened my teeth and they would be more likely to chip and break. Finally he whipped out this thing that looked like something professional boxers wear in their mouths.
“This is a night guard,” he explained. “We will fit you for one and then you won’t grind anymore.”
I looked at the thing in his hand and thought that with the nightguard in my mouth, a pair of boxing gloves, and a tattoo on my face, I would be a dead ringer for Mike Tyson. I grimaced.
“It’s not very, um, conducive to romance,” I complained.
“I can make you a pink one, if you want,” he offered.
I glared. “You know what I mean.”
“Neither is being toothless,” he countered. “Put it in right before you go to sleep and no one will be the wiser.”
I reluctantly agreed and went through the process of getting my mouth molded for my new nightguard.
When it finally arrived, I snuck it into the bed with me, and slipped it in right before I went to sleep. Unlike much of my sleepwear, this was not something I was particularly interested in modeling for my husband.
The next morning I popped it out, rolled over and kissed my husband.
“So, how did you sleep last night?” I asked brightly. “Did I grind my teeth?”
“I’m not sure,” he said groggily. “I couldn’t hear with all your snoring going on.”