Over the years, many different devices have been developed for the treatment of clenching, more appropriately known as bruxism, in the medical and dental community. Initially, these were very rudimentary devices, based mainly around mouth guards and bite splints; however, as medicine and dentistry have advanced, so have the treatment modalities.
In The Beginning
When treatment of bruxism first was becoming common, the treatment of choice was a mouth guard. All the mouth guard would do is to prevent damage to adjacent dental and oral structures as the patient would clench their teeth. This did not treat the actual disorder, but rather only the symptoms.
The Middle Ages
With advancement in research, it was found that a patient could be trained to not clench their teeth any longer. The initial devices that were used for this were merely traditional mouth guards with slight modifications. The modifications that were added to the traditional mouth guard would send a negative stimulus to the patient that was not too great, but rather just enough to make the patient, subconsciously, not want to continue the negative habit.
Modern Treatment Options
With advances in general technology, there have been great strides in medical and dental technology, as well. This includes the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband. This ultra modern technology takes advantage of previous research and all realms of modern equipment to train a patient not to clench their teeth.
How the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband Work?
The SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband works by combining the technology of Electromyography, or EMG, and years of past research. The headband uses EMG to detect when a patient is clenching their teeth. This device will detect when a patient is clenching by sensing their minute muscle spasms that are leading up to clenching and grinding their teeth. When the EMG detects this, it will then send an audio signal to the patient to very gently and slightly disrupt the sleep cycle of the patient to force them to stop the action.
Over time, as the patient wears the headband, they will slowly cease the action. Subconsciously, the patient will form a new habit of avoiding the audio signal by not clenching and grinding.
This new habit is formed much like that of Pavlov’s dog. As we all know, Pavlov’s dog would begin to salivate when it heard a bell ring. This was due to a positive feedback of receiving food when the bell was rung. This is much the same with the headband only the patient is avoiding a negative stimulus, that of the audio signal.
Medicine and dentistry have come a very long way. As technology advances, as will the treatments in medicine and dentistry. This is clearly evident in this new technology.
- Raphael KG, Santiago V, Lobbezoo F.
- J Oral Rehabil. 2016 Oct;43(10):791-8.
- Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding: http://mouthguardsforteethgrinding.com/biofeedback-headband/
Dr. Clemens has since devoted the majority of his career to implant therapy. His career practicing was, unfortunately, cut short when he was involved in a tragic automobile accident in 2014. He now devotes his life to the education of dentists in implant therapy.
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