“You know those body builders with the big arms and skinny little legs? Your jaw is like that.”

My dentist is explaining this to me while both her hands are inside my mouth clenching the left and right sides of my jaw. She explains that my right jaw muscle is three times larger than the left. I glurk in agreement that the right side of my jaw does seem to be more problematic, it’s not uncommon for it to make a horrifying pop each morning. Her prescription: a mouthguard for clenching my teeth at night.

“I could sell you a $700 mouthguard that takes two weeks to fit but unless you know you’re going to be the kind of person that sleeps with a mouthguard, you should just buy one on Amazon first.”

I like my dentist’s office. It’s holistic in the sense they care for the whole mouth, not just the teeth bits. It could be my crappy insurance but they’re not concerned with upsells either. And I love the idea of prototyping with a low-fidelity solution first. So I followed their advice and got the Liquid Death of mouthguards and for ~$25 it’s been a pretty big life upgrade.

  1. No jaw pain when I wake up.
  2. No more snoring.
  3. Deeper sleep.
  4. Less getting up in the middle of the night.

All those benefits from sticking a little chunk of chewy plastic in my mouth every night. I assumed putting an obstruction in my mouth would have the opposite effect, make snoring louder or wake me up choking on my own saliva, but nope! I guess I am a mouthguard person. While this won’t cure my nighttime RBF, it will hopefully prevent some of the lopsided side effects.