Ouch my gums - new gum splint to help stop me grinding my teeth!!!

So I finally got my first gum splint fitted from my NHS dentist last Tuesday..  Ouch, one night in and my gums were already in bits from wearing it - blistered and sore.  The splint is a clear plastic gum guard for the bottom jaw; my dentist did give me a choice between top or bottom, and I choose bottom, as I felt this would be more comfortable, I am thinking now, maybe I should have gone for top? But would it really have made a difference?

I have grinded my teeth for as long as I can remember - when growing up and sharing a room with my younger sister, she used to moan that I kept her awake most nights because of my horrid grinding, and unfortunately my grinding did not stop in my adulthood, I now just get moaned at by my hubby!  I am glad I cannot hear myself. *Cringe*.

Over the past couple of years I noticed my jaw was clanking a lot more, and my jaw used to get stuck and I couldn't open it fully sometimes, not without giving it a good stretch.  It was only when I went to the doctor about earache, that he sent me up to the hospital for a hearing test, which I passed with flying colours, but as we sat in the consultants office, he asked me about my jaw, which I was surprised to be asked, I said yes it does clank, he asked if he could feel my joints and prompted for me to open my mouth, - he then asked if I was a grinder, "yep I am", he then proceed to tell me that it was not earache that was the problem, it was the joints on my jaw that were aching, as the joints sit right next to my ear, and it is very common for people to assume or think it is ear problems.  He gave me some print out sheets to take away about Grinding teeth and encouraged me to go see my dentist.

I went to my dentist, who recommended that I went to a orthodontist at the hospital before she fitted a guard, due to how poignant my clicking jaw was and how I struggled to open my jaw fully.. so I patiently waited, 8 months before I finally got a letter with an appointment, which was for the following week.  I went, and he advised that I went back to my dentist to get the splint, that I rest my jaw as much as possible by eating a softer diet, suggesting I liquefied my food, and that I must avoid chewing gum, or any hard/tough food.  He also suggested I rub anti-inflammatory cream on the jaw joints, and I take ibuprofen.

So back to the dentist, and they done a mold of the bottom of my jaw (I accidentally bit the dentist as well), and they sent me away with an appointment the following week. When I returned they fitted me with my new splint! Yay, finally, and I was looking forward to wearing it; the start of my journey to relief some my grinding and hopefully my clicking jaw to stop. 

How did my first night go? Unfortunately not good start, I woke up in the middle of the night with gum pain, I had to slowly pull the splint out, but ouch it hurt, and I had obviously grinded my teeth wearing my splint, pushing the splint and rubbing my gum, cutting my gum on both sides.  I couldn't get it back on because my gums were so sore, so I left it for the rest of the night!

The following day I was telling to my Mum about my gum she suggested I rub in Bonjela in my gums and then slide the gum splint on.  This did help eliminate some of the pain and made it easier to put on, but once on it was fine and I managed a few nights now wearing it all night, but my gums are so sore the following day.

I am hoping this will just be like wearing in new shoes?? my gums will wear into the splint and it becomes pain free. I am determined to make this work!

Does anyone else wear a splint? Or do you have any better options?