(North America, 20’s) Recently, my dentist informed me that I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep. Her suggestion was to have a bite splint made that I could wear in the night to protect my teeth. In my family, I have always had the best teeth; no cavities, no stains, and I always get good comments from my dentist each visit. But now I was being told that by grinding my teeth, I am slowly causing serious irreplaceable damage that could open me up to cavities and bed news in the future. In an effort to be a compliant patient, I have been doing my diligence and wearing my mouth guard every night, even though it is slightly uncomfortable and I’m not used to it yet. The other night, while wearing this stupid plastic contraption I had the following dream.
I was out of town at a professional development conference with a group of women I had vague friendships with, but no one I could pick out really. One morning when I woke up in my hotel room I noticed that my teeth were hurting much more than normal, but I thought, “I slept with my mouth guard in, and isn’t that supposed to help?”
When I went to the washroom to look in the mirror and take out my mouth guard, I was horrified to discover that my mouth guard had been adjusted so tightly that in the night ALL of my teeth had been pressed inward! Every one of my teeth had been flipped nearly on its side as the roots pressed out of my gums and the tops of my molars touched against my tongue in the most unusual manner.
The pain in my mouth was unbearable, and the distortion of my teeth made me unable to speak in any coherent manner. I was scared to tell the women I was with what had happened, and so instead I tried to find ways to push my teeth back into their appropriate positions. I used my finger to feel along the inside rim of my mouth, and I began sobbing.
And as I contemplated what this would mean, that I now had the most corrupted teeth in my family, I got so anxious and upset that I woke myself up.