In October 2010, I started experiencing an unexplained permanent dizziness. It would come and go and be more severe during certain weeks. By March 2011, the symptoms had become more severe and included permanent headaches and facial muscle pain. I started making doctor’s appointments, saw three neurologists, one ENT doctor, took blood samples, had an MRI brain scan but no diagnosis yet. Since the beginning I had been researching an explanation for those symptoms on the web. Many leads did not pan out but I read that night-time bruxism (unconscious grinding of teeth at night-time) could be a possible explanations. Several things pointed in that direction:

  • I had been told before that I grind my teeth at night.
  • My symptoms started one month after the end of an orthodontic treatment. After my orthodontic appliance was removed, I had to wear an Invisalign appliance, which is a transparent plastic mold designed to keep your teeth in place.
  • Very quickly after starting to wear the Invisalign appliance, it started to show wear marks at the points of contact of my teeth.

I made an appointment with a New York dentist who made a special mouth guard designed to fit on the front teeth only. This had a hugely positive impact on my symptoms and two months after wearing that, I believed the problem was gone.

However I occasionally still felt dizziness. In October of 2011, I had ocasional dizziness and semi-permanent headaches again. This time, I experienced pain when chewing which clearly pointed to an issue with the jaw and especially jaw muscles. In march 2012, I went to see a dentist in Hong Kong who made another type of mouthguard, and eventually put tooth fillings on my back teeth to attempt to remediate a malocclusion problem. This had a beneficial impact. The dentist mentioned that night-time bruxism is extremely challenging to control, that it may be caused by stress, but may become habitual and persist even after the stress stimulus is removed.

In September 2012, I purchased the Grind Care device which detects night-time bruxism and attemps to condition you out of it by triggering a small electric shock. It’s a very well made very compact device which you wear at night around your neck. At electrode is stuck on your face near the temporal muscle. The electrode serves both to monitor muscle activity and send a shock if muscle contraction is detected.

The grindcare device was the thing that helped me the most up to that point. It would give me some metrics of how many times I ground my teeth at night. It started out at 140/night, then progressively moved to 30/night. My symptoms improved radically. However by December 2012 the number of grinds/night started increasing, to 100/night, 200/night and even as high as 300/night , as if my body had somehow adjusted and no longer cared about the electric shock.

The idea started forming in my head that the device should not just send an electric shock, but actually wake me up if bruxism is detected.

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