I wear a mouth guard at night, and while it isn’t fun or appealing, it does help, especially if I’m having a nightmare. During a stressful sleep, I would grind my teeth, which doesn’t help anything. While this mouthguard isn’t exactly nice for the wife to deal with nor does it make those wonderful and important pre-sleep conversations with a loved one the most articulate, it is necessary.
What has really improved my sleep in the last week, though, was finally buying a new mattress. I had been sleeping on a cheap used mattress for years, and it seemed fine. But the past few months, I really noticed it was not supporting my body the way it needed to be, which was exacerbated by the fact that, like many of us, I can’t sleep on my ATN side. So I spend every night either on my right side or back. I just got a new mattress, and it has done wonders. My sleep is so much more restful.
I also have ATN, and I’ve also had a ton of dental work and several teeth removed from that area, I’ve also had several teeth removed on the opposite side. So for my case, the dental work have not been the cause. I can pretty much (though it seems for TN or ATN you can never be 100% certain of anything) say my cause has been several benign schwannoma tumors that were located behind my left eye that I’ve had removed. Unfortunately even though the largest of the tumors is gone, my face is still constantly swollen and my head hurts all day.
Lately I’ve been on a combination of 1800 mg gabapentin (Neurontin), 1500 mg of oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), and 60 mg of duloxetine (Cymbalta) with 20 mg of oxycodone. I just started the Cymbalta, and it seems to slowly be improving my situation a lot!
It took a long time to get to any improvement outside of opioids, and no one drug worked enough alone and nearly every one had side effects that took a while to get over. So while I personally strongly endorse an outlook that focuses on meditation and acceptance of the pain (John Kabit-Zinn has great secular guided meditations that focus on chronic pain and have been used in hospitals around the world, he’s on youtube for free), I also never want to stop looking for improvement. Hope you find some soon!