Biofeedback induced muscle relaxation used in the treatment of bruxism

W. K. Solberg, J. D. Rugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The treatment of bruxism has been difficult because the habits involved are usually performed subconsciously; thus patients are unable to detect their habit. The authors have developed a portable muscle biofeedback unit which delivers an audible warning tone should the patient clench or grind his teeth. Thus, the patient can monitor himself outside the laboratory under normal environmental conditions. This system was tested and has proven feasible in detecting bruxism states. The purpose of this investigation was: to determine what effect biofeedback therapy had on the frequency of diurnal bruxism and to determine what effect biofeedback therapy had on the symptoms accompanying bruxism. 25 TMJ patients were interviewed and examined after wearing the biofeedback unit from 2 to 18 days. After this period most patients reported clenching and grinding habits during stressful or emotionally arousing situations. Others reported clenching immediately after the stressful period. Of most significance to the patients was their aroused awareness of bruxism. Patients were startled to discover how frequently they engaged in clenching or grinding, and the majority agreed that they had benefited from this insight. Diurnal bruxism can be markedly reduced through biofeedback therapy. Interviews and clinical examinations revealed that many patients' disorders had significantly improved during their 'training' period. The ability of the patient to report the exact tooth to tooth location of the bruxism implies that biofeedback therapy can be used to advantage as an adjunct in pin pointing the site where occlusal alteration is indicated. In addition, the biofeedback units have proven successful in delineating diurnal and nocturnal bruxism, which may have important implications for diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis and treatment of bruxism may be facilitated by the use of portable muscle hyperactivity detectors worn by patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue numberSpec.Nr
StatePublished - 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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