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Well, its time to write about something else other than computer programming.

Its time to write about TMJ.

TMJ is a SERIOUS problem.

What’s TMJ? Well, the TMJ in the human body is that really cool jaw joint that allows your jaw to move up and down and also side to side. Its located right in front of your ear, at the “temple”.

If you put your pinky in your ear (GENTLY!) and move your jaw, you’ll feel some motion in your ear canal.

Grinding your teeth at night, or excessive teeth clenching is called “BRUXISM”. Bruxism can RUIN your TMJ, making it click and pop and even causing your ears to really really hurt.

So people usually write TMJD or just TMD to stand for “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder”. The “disorder” is basically that you’re ruining your own TMJ through not treating it properly.

My story is a long one, and I’m not going to write it all here. But let’s just say that the TMJD got out of control. It had to stop, immediately.

How do you stop TMJ? How do you stop bruxing? Is there a cure for TMJ? Is there a cure for bruxism?

I’ve tried everything.

And I found something that works to stop bruxing, and by virtue of that, over time, seems to start to allievate some of the symptoms of TMJD.

I’m also on a soft food diet (mashed potatoes!) to help my jaw to heal.

Well, one thing is “bruxing” is apparently aggravated by stress.

For me, the “bruxing” was aggravated BY MY EARS. For some reason, I bruxed more because of the condition of my ears. So, the problem fed itself, and it was a very, very vicious cycle.

I needed to STOP BRUXING IMMEDIATELY. But night after night, it would happen again and again.

I tried a lot of different things, many of which simply didn’t work, as I am a very heavy sleeper and when my body wants to bite or clench, it FINDS A WAY TO DO IT, which is very very frustrating to wake up to. Then I finally found lifematters.com.

LIFE SAVER. I purchased the MyoTrac device for $650, paid for customs and all that, and finally I’ve hooked it up to my computer.

WELL. IT WORKS. I got a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio adapter and plugged in the audio output of the MyoTrac device to my computer’s mic input. I put the mic on “live” and jack the computer volume way up, so the beeping is now louder (but not ear-damagingly loud, of course). The beeping of the MyoTrac just isn’t loud enough to wake me up reliably.

I also

wrote a MyoTrac support application

that plays music when you clench or grind your teeth. Music is nicer to wake up to than strange beeping. Plus you’ll memorize whatever song you load up… its gonna happen really often.

Hey Betty Boop you got me droolin’

I’m using Aerosmith’s My Fist Your Face

The MyoTrac is VERY good and VERY reliable. In fact, it generates quite a few false alarms when you move your eyebrows or if the electrodes come off your face.

I actually have a hard time with the electrodes coming off my face. That happens often, because of the way my face curves. So I have to tape it down really hard and turn the sensitivity way down. [WARNING: DO NOT USE JUST ANY TAPE. USE SURGICAL TAPE. OTHER TAPE TYPES USE __TOXIC__ ADHESIVE AND CAN REALLY HURT YOU!

Every night, I’m waking up 10-15 times, and I’m GLAD THAT I’M DOING IT. Its MUCH BETTER than waking up with compounded, unbearable pain in your teeth, jaws and ears.

listen to white noise @ simplynoise.com

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4 Comments

  1. well, a few weeks later and i’m starting to realize that this is __not__ an end-all solution.

    bruxing is a persistent and nasty problem that requires constant management and vigilance.

    There’s no easy answer. If use this approach, you might wake up 10 or 15 times a night. Its important to be able to wake up in response to the music, so you should probably sleep with really tight pants or a pure woolen shirt on (something uncomfortable, but not injuriously so).

    Between wakings, you’ll get your (bruxing-free!) sleep, and in the morning you’ll have dark circles under your eyes, but no pain from bruxing.

    This solution is good for people who really are desperate to stop bruxing fast, and just need to make it past nights until they can figure something better out (or get botox?).

    I am trying to see if I continue to use this approach for an extended period of time (1 or 2 years..?) if it will EVENTUALLY train the body not to brux. We’ll see.

  2. a couple of weeks later, i’m down to waking up on the hour.

  3. well, several months later (its Christmas day! whoo hoo) I can say I think all the above is really stupid.

    I’m not IN that situation anymore – I just sleep now and let it happen –

  4. A group of us are building EMG monitors to treat bruxism. Maybe you could share your experience with us. If you send me an email, I’ll send you an invite to the mailing list. This is the project I’m working on:

    http://chompr.blogspot.com/


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By my take on the NTI device « Bobobobo’s Weblog on 12 Jul 2008 at 12:42 pm

    […] you should do first is try the lifematters.com Stop Bruxing Now! course with MyoTrac. Check out my other post (’extreme solution for tmj’) and use the software I wrote (and will be updating soon!) to help, OR connect the output of your […]

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