Accelerometer-only Bruxism Detection Solution

When I set out to work on this project, the Myoware muscle sensor was deemed to be an essential component, necessary to sense muscle activity and gauge the level of night-time bruxism activity. My 2013 project also used an EMG sensor, the Muscle Sensor v3. A lot of people who attempt to build bruxism devices (as is the case for a few members on the bruxhackers mailing list) independently come to the same conclusion, that an EMG sensor is ideal for a bruxism device.

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Observations from wearing the Sleeptrack prototype

In my previous post, I showed the sleeptrack phase1 prototype, which I’ve been wearing on and off at night. Here are my observations about the device, and about my own night-time teeth grinding behavior. I have to say I was shocked at how much muscle activity is taking place in a single night.

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Phase 1 Hardware Update

After facing difficulties in the previous months trying to design and manufacture the final version of the Sleeptrack Printed Circuit Board, we decided to take a step by step approach and build incremental versions to make more steady progress. The first version, phase 1 is comprised of the bare minimum components required to measure night-time muscle activity.

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TMJ Disorder – Are you at risk of this long-term Effect of Bruxism?

If you’ve ever experienced night-time teeth grinding, or bruxism in general, you may be aware of the short-term annoyances that come with it. Jaw ache, sore head, disturbed sleep and even an unhappy partner. While inconvenient, none of the effects above are permanent – unfortunately, there are some longer lasting effects that truly pose a threat to veteran bruxism sufferers. One example of this is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, commonly known as TMJ disorder.

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A first look at the SleepTrack Web Interface

A few weeks ago, I posted an update on the status of the SleepTrack device. I am currently waiting for revision 3 of the printed circuit board for testing. While I am hoping this revision will be functional and will allow me to start capturing data at night, the difficulties encountered in the hardware portion of this project have surprised me, but are not unusual in a hardware project. As the saying goes, hardware is hard. With that said, let’s take a look at the SleepTrack web interface.

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You may suffer from Bruxism without even Knowing!

If you were habitually grinding your teeth, you’d know about it. Right? Possibly not. In fact, over 80% of Bruxism sufferers do so subconsciously while they’re sleeping. Today I am going to discuss the signs and symptoms that can determine whether or not you affected by sleep bruxism—and what you should do if you are.

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Why Mouthguards Are Not the Solution for Bruxism

While doctors recommend mouthguards for bruxism, they’re only a band-aid-fix. Considering bruxism is grinding teeth while we sleep, suggesting mouthguards makes some sense. They protect the teeth from scraping, cracking and breaking caused by night grinding. But mouthguards don’t cure bruxism itself and here lies the main issue.

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Circuit Board Manufacturing and Prototype Updates

Manufacturing of the revision 2 of the sleeptrack protype is almost complete and I’m waiting for the board to be shipped from Shenzhen, China. While the manufacturing went further this time, there are a number of issues which will have to be fixed before this version is fully usable. Additionally, i’ve been experimenting with a prototype and ran into issues with the EMG sensor.

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Benefits of Magnesium & Rhodiola for Bruxism

Our body needs magnesium to stay healthy. Without it, our regulated blood pressure becomes unstable and our heart develops unhealthy complications. Plus, magnesium is great for our bones and nerves as well. The easy way to get magnesium into the body is through our diet by eating almonds, sunflower seeds, or potatoes with the skin. And don’t forget about earthy greens like spinach.

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Review of Bruxism Devices on the market

There are a number of devices that help monitor or attempt to prevent bruxism on the market. Most of them use an EMG sensor to detect muscle activation, either on the temporal muscle or the masseter muscle. Some have biofeedback functionality while others are purely allow diagnosing of bruxism / teeth grinding. Some are generally available to the public while others are sold to dentists only. Here is a list of the devices that I know about. If you know of a device which we didn’t list, please email us:   @SleepTrackIO   sleeptrackio

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First batch of boards printed, issues with layout

I’ve been working with a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) designer for the last two months to put together the board for the Sleeptrack device. The Grind Control device was built on top of breadboard-ready through-hole components which could all be soldered easily. In this new iteration, one of the objectives is to keep the size small. This means using SMD components, and I don’t have the skills or equipment to solder those. So PCB design and assembly is contracted out and a few days ago, we received the first revision of the boards.

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Designing a new anti-bruxism device

For two and a half years, my bruxism symptoms were manageable. After I stopped wearing the early grind control device in August/September 2013, my symptoms continued to steadily improve. Not completely gone, but most days I felt completely normal, without headaches or dizziness, and no pain or muscle tension while chewing. The symptoms would occasionally come back sometimes occasionally, for example I would feel tension in the morning for a few hours.

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Experiences Using the Grind Control Device

For many months I had grown convinced that the source for my issues is an unconscious night-time behavior of my jaw that no one could explain. It seemed obvious to me that if I could detect this and stop it then I would solve my problem. To me this has been a very successful project. Since I started using the device in April 2013, my symptoms have improved progressively but very noticeably.

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Development of Grind Control Device

In December 2012, I purchased a book on electronics to refresh my knowledge on the topic and learn some of the necessary techniques such as soldering. I experimented with an USB voltmeter capable of detecting +/- 200mV. I started experimenting with Operational Amplifiers. However in order to accurately detect muscle activity, you need a true EMG signal processing circuit. I purchased an Olimex EMG and Arduino kit. That kit turned out not to be sensitive enough to detect temporal muscle activity. A couple of weeks later, I received my Advancer Technologies Muscle Sensor v3. Through playing around with the electrodes connected on my face, and measuring output voltage with a multimeter, I realized this was the way to go. The output voltage would show 0.1V with muscles relaxed, and +0.9V with muscles contracted. This was perfect and exactly within the range that I needed to process the signal with my Arduino Micro.

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Symptoms and Diagnosis

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:

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Project Goals

To build an open-source wearable device and associated cloud services designed to analyze sleep bruxism and condition the wearer out of bruxism using biofeedback techniques.

Current Status 2016/12/18


  • Changed approach to accelerometer/IMU only solution
  • Built Phase 3 prototype with battery charging and IMU.
  • Using a chin sensor to detect jaw movement.
  • Device firmware working stably.

Web App

  • Backend servers (collecting data from device) stable, deployed in a docker instance.
  • InfluxDB and Grafana instances deployed.
  • Angular front-end allows user to interact with device, start realtime mode, or night mode and view nightly stats.