Grinding Your Teeth at Night Is No Joke

Mikhail Metzel/TASS via ZUMA

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Emily Sohn writes about her recent trips to the dentist:

It was bad luck, I figured, or maybe just the reality of middle age. My dentist, Jennifer Herbert, suggested otherwise. Ever since the pandemic started, she says she has seen a surge in problems related to tooth-grinding and jaw-clenching. Perhaps, she suggested, pandemic stress was the culprit for my tooth woes, too. “It’s astronomical,” she says. “I’ve seen more patients with problems from grinding in the last few months than I have in the rest of my career.”

This is no joke. Six years ago, when my cancer diagnosis was brand new and I was undergoing my first round of chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transfer, Marian was beside herself with anxiety.¹ She didn’t know it at the time, but it turned out that as a result she was grinding her teeth at night. By the time it was all over a year later, she had undergone months of dental work and had five new crowns.

This is also an easily solved problem: your dentist can provide you with a custom-fitted mouthguard that you wear at night. If the COVID-19 pandemic and everything else going on has you worried enough to be grinding your teeth at night, get it looked at right away. There’s no need to wait until your teeth are half gone.

¹And me? I’m just not the worrying type, I guess. I snore, but I don’t grind my teeth.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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