To win victory over; beat.
The habitual, involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth, usually during sleep and sometimes associated wth stress.
Defeat Bruxism. This is the mission statement for TheraBrux LLC. And with the defeat of bruxism there is a good chance for relief from many potentially associated maladies:
- Migraine or severe headache
- Pain in the jaw
- Difficulty opening the jaw or chewing
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or even hearing loss
- Tooth wear, tooth cracks or fractures, repeated failures of dental restorations.
- Sore neck or shoulders
You say "Great for people that have bruxism, but I don't." Are you sure? Many practioners believe that almost everyone bruxes occasionally. The best estimate is that 20% of the population brux to the extent that they experience some adverse consequence. Most people are unaware of this unconscious habit and are quite resistant to the diagnosis until the dental consequences are unmistakeable. Ask yourself a few questions that may help you understand your risk:
- Has a sleeping partner or roommate ever commented on grinding noises you make at night? (Absence of such a comment is not definitive, Clenchers may make no noise at all.) Even one response should make you suspicious.
- Do you have a sore jaw in the morning?
- Do you have teeth that are sensitive to cold or hot or that look yellow on the contacting surfaces? (Wear may have exposed softer dentin)
- Has your dentist ever commented on worn teeth? (It may be worth asking. Again, clenchers may not have tremendous wear, so even minor wear could be indicitave of a severe clenching problem.)
- Have you experienced repeated failures in fillings or other dental restorations, particularly in the molars?
- Do you have any combination of the possible maladies listed above, particularly if they are longstanding and have been resistant to standard care?
"Defeat Bruxism" is certainly a bold goal, especially given the history of the condition and the current lack of definitive treatments. However, based on my research and personal experience, I believe it is possible.
The good news is there is most likely an option you haven't tried yet. This investigational therapy is called "The Taste-Based Approach to the Prevention of Teeth Clenching and Grinding." I have formed TheraBrux LLC to bring the taste-based approach to market. We are currently in discussions with the FDA regarding regulatory compliance and in the process of designing clinical trials.
If you are dissatisfied with the "status quo" in the area of bruxism and are interested in this new and promising therapy, please take a few minutes to read more about the approach.
As part of my research for this project, I have extensively reviewed the available treatments for bruxism and related disorders. Although I found them lacking, there are promising ideas out there that you can take advantage of today. I freely share an unbiased account of my findings under the link What can you do about bruxism today?
The Taste based Approach to the Prevention of Teeth Clenching and Grinding
The approach I'm about to describe isn't my idea. Moti Nissani, PhD, from Wayne State University developed it about 8 years ago. He called it the “Taste based Approach to the Prevention of Teeth Clenching and Grinding.” Dr. Nissani has published several peer-reviewed papers on the subject, of which one is available at the following link. Please take a look at the paper for a more complete description. The following is only a short summary.
The taste-based approach uses an orthodontic-type device to suspend a sealed packet of some disagreeable substance (hot sauce, vinegar, salt water, etc.) between the rear molars. The packet is designed to burst when the teeth come together, thus simultaneously alerting the (awake or asleep) user to the habit and training him or her to stop this unconscious, destructive behavior.
Take a look at the figures below for a visual representation of the concept.
The device illustrated in Figure 1 is shown installed in the mouth in Figure 2. Of course, the device could take any number of forms, but the one shown is very practical and has many advantages. Sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones, and this one is very simple. If we make four assumptions, we can feel pretty confident that the taste-based approach will Defeat Bruxism (without taking too great a toll)!
Your first instinct when you see this may be "That sounds horrible." Keep several things in mind:
1) Based on the very few data points available, the period of time where a new user actively ruptures packets is relatively short. I personally ruptured between ten and twenty packets before I settled into a pattern where I break maybe 3 to 5 per month.
2) The interruption in sleep patterns is not as great as might be expected. I generally fall back to sleep with 2 or 3 minutes. Anecdotal evidence for other users indicates a similar pattern.
3) The appliance is more comfortable than your typical night guard.
The Taste Based Approach is not a "cure" for bruxism in the purest meaning of the word; however, implemented properly and used rigorously, it is an infinitely effective treatment for the habit. Using this logic and being relatively handy and fairly desperate, I constructed my own holder and packets. I have had remarkable success thus far. Follow this link for my story. Several others who have gone to the trouble to manufacture the system at home have had similar results:
"I've tried just about everything over the years, and yet my condition continued to get worse. Dentures, hearing aids, and TMJ were waiting for me around the corner. The taste-based approach worked wonders for me. It saved my ever-flattening teeth. It totally stopped my earaches, hearing loss, splitting headaches, and clicking jaws. I still wear the device every night, so for me this approach only provided an effective treatment, not a cure. The appliance is far more comfortable than the splint though, and is not associated with any side effects. About once every two weeks now a bag breaks, but that's all right, given all the other alternatives! Half-asleep, I remove it, replace it with the spare appliance which is always ready on my nightstand, and go back to sleep."
"For over fifteen years I have suffered from bruxism and have journeyed from promise to promise with little success. The body being such a wonderful thing, I couldn't believe that it was capable of committing nightly sabotage at that level! I decided to make the dental appliance and bags myself, and the taste-based approach is the one and only method that has worked! This approach changed my life."
Why isn’t the taste-based approach available commercially?
Great question. Dr. Nissani has patented this approach. Under U.S. Patent law, no one can make, use, or sell a device covered by the patent unless Dr. Nissani approves via a licensing or other legal agreement. (Dr. Nissani has approved anyone to try this at home, but not to offer it for sale.) You’d think that the medical establishment would be falling all over themselves trying to get at this, but they aren’t. Why? I can’t be sure. Maybe some answers can be had at this link.
What if I really, really, want to try it right now?
Unfortunately, you can’t buy this system anywhere. The only way to get it is to make it yourself. See Dr. Nissani’s website for some instructions, but I echo Dr. Nissani’s concern: It is not recommended for anyone to try on their own. Do so at your own risk and only if you have strong technical skills AND if you are blessed with a competent and understanding medical team. Please do not try to contact Dr. Nissani directly. He is no longer available to help.
My background and goals
I’m a mechanical engineer by training. I’ve been a practicing engineer in product development, R&D, and manufacturing for large (Fortune 100 size) companies for about 15 years. My personal mission statement can be boiled down to something like “He left it a little better.” When I see something like the taste-based approach with so much promise going unfulfilled, it bothers me. I believe I can make it work, commercially, and I’ve struck a licensing deal to develop his idea into a real product that you can buy, and hopefully enjoy the same relief I and several others have.
Please recognize that I am not a medical professional. I’ve done the best I can to read and interpret information from multiple reliable, scientific sources and distill it into an understandable format. However, you can and should independently verify anything and everything I say, preferably in conjunction with a qualified medical professional.
We are in the process of recruiting a technical team to help develop this approach. Development is likely to be a multi-year venture due to the complexity of the device, the safety implications, and the FDA regulatory process.
Any input is welcome. I generally read and respond to any emails I get (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks for your time and input. Together we can make the Taste Based Approach a reality.
The information contained on this Web site does not constitute medical advice, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before starting any treatment.
4) It has a good chance to get to the root of your bruxism problem.