Is a Biofeedback Headband Right for You?


How This Bruxism Treatment Compares to Traditional Treatments

If you suffer from bruxism, or the act of grinding or clenching your teeth, there are a number of treatments available to help. If you don’t take action, you could be doing irreversible damage that can affect you for the rest of your life. Most people who suffer from this condition only suffer a minor to moderate form of it and can treat it with traditional methods like mouth guards. However, more advanced treatment methods are now on the market, and they may be even better when it comes to treating bruxism for a number of reasons. By comparing the old treatment of mouth guards with one of the newer treatments, biofeedback headbands, you will have a better idea of which treatment  might be a better option for you.


How Mouth Guards and Biofeedback Headbands Work?

Before you can really get into comparing these bruxism treatments, you should probably get to know how these treatments work when it comes to bruxism.

How Mouth Guards Work:

Mouth guards are often the most common form of bruxism treatment, but you might be surprised to know that, in most cases, they don’t actually treat the condition. Mouth guards work for bruxism because they prevent the teeth from sustaining damage. They don’t actually stop the wearer from bruxing. Most of the time the person wearing the mouth guard will still grind, they will just be grinding or clenching into the mouth guard, not their own teeth. Even with all of that said, though a mouth guard will not stop the condition, it will still help to save your teeth in the long run.

How Biofeedback Headbands Work:

A biofeedback headband is a little different and can actually cure the bruxing. Bruxism is more of a subconscious behavior than anything, and because of that, in order to cure it, you will need to change the behavior. This is exactly what a biofeedback headband will do. This is a headband that you will wear when you sleep. It has sensors in it that can determine when a person begins to clench or grind. As soon as the sensors are activated, the headband releases a sound that is only loud enough to disrupt sleep. Typically that sound is enough to stop the action of bruxing, and ultimately, stop damage to your teeth and jaw.


Comparing Effectiveness of Mouth Guards and Biofeedback Headbands

Now that you know the differences between mouth guards and biofeedback headbands, you might be interested to know which is more effective. Clinical trials have been completed on both devices and the you can see more about the results of these trials, below:

Mouth Guard Effectiveness:

The mouth guard industry is a billion dollar industry, and dentists suggest patients get mouth guards about a million times each year. There have been a number of studies on how effective mouth guards are and throughout all of these studies, one result is certain…these devices can certainly lessen the instance of bruxing, but they do not cure or stop the bruxing completely. The three big studies that are often referred to are studies by Biondi and Picardi, Rugh, Barghi, and Drago, and Shiau and Syu. In these studies, bruxing was reduced by 60% in the Biondi and Picardi study, 90% in the Rugh, Barghi, and Drago study, and 44% in the Shiau and Syu. None of these studies showed any cure for bruxism. So, are mouth guards effective? Yes, they can be, if you are looking to protect your teeth from the action of grinding or clenching, but not if you want to cure the issue completely.

Biofeedback Headband Effectiveness:

Studies have also been done on biofeedback headbands, and these results suggest that using one of these devices can be more effective than mouth guards, but there is still not 100% effectiveness when it comes to patient bruxing. When you look at study results, about 75% of all participants in the study showed a significant reduction in their bruxing and the majority of these people had 80% to 90% reduction the first night. In these studies, even the bottom 25% of those studied reduced their bruxing by about 50% by the end of the study. (2)


Comparing the Investment of Mouth Guards and Biofeedback Headbands

Once people learn about the effectiveness of mouth guards versus biofeedback headbands, they will generally want to know about how much the devices are going to cost and if the investment is worth it.

The Cost of Mouth Guards:

You can find some very inexpensive mouth guards at your local drug store for $15 – $20 in most cases, but that doesn’t mean they are going to be as effective as the ones that are mentioned in the above study. Those mouth guards were guards that were professionally made. A professionally made mouth guard can start anywhere from $100 – $150 all the way up to $800 – $1000 or even more.

The Cost of Biofeedback Headbands

When it comes to biofeedback headbands, you will have two choices when it comes to cost. You can choose to rent it for $49.99 a month, which might be ideal if you just want to try it out. Another option you have when it comes to a biofeedback headband is that you can buy it for $395, and have it forever. Doing the math, it would be more economical to buy the headband, assuming you will use it on a long term basis. More details here…


Mouth Guard or Biofeedback Headband: Which is Better?

Now that you have access to the above information, you might be wondering which is better, a mouth guard or a biofeedback headband. The best thing to do is to find out which one will be better for your lifestyle and your needs. If you are a serious bruxer, a biofeedback headband might be a better choice as it is more effective in the long term, and has a higher rate of lowering the bruxing behavior. If you don’t grind or clench all the time, an inexpensive mouth guard might be enough to protect your teeth, but remember it won’t cure it. The best thing to do is to fully research both options and talk to your dentist. They will be a great source of information and can help you find the right device for you.

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  2. SleepGuard_paper_presented_by_LW_at_SOTO_USA_2011_conference.pdf


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