Bruxism, or teeth grinding and teeth clenching, is a commonly occurring sleep disorder that will affect many of us at some point during our lives: indeed, the latest figures show that 20% of Americans, or 60 million people, suffer from bruxism, yet many are not even aware of it. Though common, this disorder is anything but ordinary: it can cause daily stress, severe headaches, tooth pain, and other serious health issues, and once someone has gotten into the habit of teeth grinding and teeth clenching, it can be hard to break.
It used to be that the only way to determine if a patient had bruxism was to spend the night, or even several nights, in a sleep clinic. Individuals would be monitored by different machines, as well as doctors and psychologists, to determine the level of bruxism present in the patient, and what the recommended course of treatment would be. Patients would then meet with a clinical psychologist to work on behavioral modification training: teeth grinding is a habit, even though it happens subconsciously while we’re asleep, and thus needs a certain amount of training in order to overcome. Yet this multi-step process was often intrusive and overly time consuming for the patients themselves, and the costs of clinical psychology sessions could add up quite quickly.
But thankfully, new technology is now on the market that can help alert bruxism sufferers to their condition, as well as help these individuals break the habit of the ‘daily grind’. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a smart mouth guard that has sensors which can detect if you are grinding your teeth, and even alert your dentist about your bruxism. It is even thought that this technology can be utilized to improve and monitor athletes’ performance, such as monitoring hydration levels, core body temperatures, and determining if an individual has a concussion.
This smart technology is able to not only monitor the sleeping individual’s level of bruxism, but also send that information and data to a computer or smart phone using Bluetooth technology. A patient’s dentist or orthodontist can then retrieve this data and make a diagnosis, suggesting treatment if necessary. The mouth guard is also able to track patterns in the data, such as how much force is being applied to the teeth, which can help with further customizing a treatment plan.
What is The Best Way To Address The Habits of Teeth Grinding and Clenching?
This smart technology, though incredibly innovative, is not, however, the best way to actually address the habits of teeth grinding and teeth clenching. Instead, the most effective tool for stopping bruxism once and for all is the Biofeedback treatment, the most advanced of which is the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband. Designed by an electrical engineer and professor at MIT, this headband is an EMG (electromyogram) acoustic feedback device, and it works by using sound to train muscles to stop clenching, gritting, and grinding, and instead learn to un-tense and relax.
The biofeedback technology in the headband works by first detecting an involuntary physiological activity or function, and then works to control it. Therefore, biofeedback technology uses instruments that provide information about the activity, and then determine a way to affect this activity in some way.
For many years now, biofeedback technology has been successful in treating migraine headaches, and now the technology is being harnessed to monitor and treat bruxism by monitoring the involuntary teeth grinding and then working to disrupt it.
The SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband should first be used when a person is awake. By using the biofeedback technology to train an individual while he or she is awake allows them to become more conscious of their jaw and teeth clenching; this training will then help them consciously relax the jaw and mouth muscles. In and of itself, this is a very effective method for breaking one’s habit of jaw clenching and teeth grinding: once people become aware that they are clenching their jaws, they also become more aware of how they are responding to stress, and are thus able to control this habit.
Once users have used the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband to do some training during the day, they are able to fully realize the benefits of biofeedback technology while they sleep. This day-training is necessary because it helps to trigger an individual’s Pavlovian response (a type of behavioral conditioning) to the biofeedback signal even when he or she is sound asleep. Once the person’s jaw muscles start clenching and their teeth start grinding, the biofeedback technology becomes aware of these motions and sends out an audio signal that gradually becomes louder and louder until the person’s sleep is disrupted, just long enough to stop the teeth grinding.
In addition to being able to stop people’s bruxism altogether, as well as the symptoms that often accompanying bruxism, the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband is incredibly comfortable and requires no external components. The headband’s technology is powered by batteries (which will last for around 40 nights of sleep) and is fully adjustable to any head size.
Those who have used the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband have given the device a 5-star Amazon rating, and have raved about its ability to cure their bruxism, migraines, and other medical conditions associated with jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Doctors agree, and many have recommended this device to their patients with complete confidence.
Technology is beginning to make bruxism a thing of the past – so stop suffering from constant headaches, damaged teeth, and a tense jaw, and invest in a bruxism cure today.
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- Price on Company’s Website: $49.95 – $395 (Currently offered with Free 21-day trial)