BUTLER GrindCare: Sunstar introduces next-generation device for bruxers
MUNICH, Germany: Only recently, global oral care products supplier Sunstar introduced GrindCare, a smart bruxism management system. The compact wireless device, which is attached to the temple with gel pads, monitors the jaw muscle and disrupts its activity using contingent electric stimulation that goes unnoticed by the user. The solution could improve the quality of life of thousands of bruxism patients. It is estimated that up to 30 per cent of adults suffer from the parafunctional habit.
The GrindCare sensor records the electromyographic activity of the temporal muscle. Once it passes an individually predetermined threshold and bruxism is detected, the device transmits a mild contingent impulse that stimulates a natural reflex in the muscle, relaxing it in order to reduce grinding without disturbing sleep. Over time, the impulses condition the reflex, mitigating grinding or clenching.
In the morning, the data collected by the sensor is automatically transferred to the GrindCare docking station and can be wirelessly transmitted to the optional GrindCare mobile app. With this data, bruxism activities and therapy effects can be easily monitored and assessed. Furthermore, a diary function helps the user identify his or her primary triggers.
Initial clinical trials and surveys conducted in Denmark and Germany have indicated that GrindCare can help reduce sleep bruxism by more than 50 per cent within three weeks.
In contrast to conventional sleep disorder therapies, GrindCare offers a number of advantages. While mouth guards and stress management exercises are effective, they either do not or only temporarily provide relief from secondary symptoms, such as headaches and orofacial tension or pain. Two studies conducted in the UK and the US have shown that the device also improved pain-related symptoms significantly. In a survey conducted among 102 GrindCare users in 2011, 83 per cent of participants stated that GrindCare had a positive effect and 91 per cent of these reported a reduction in pain. Many users experienced other benefits, including better sleep and a reduction in medication use.
Moreover, a polysomnographic study conducted in Denmark in 2011 found that GrindCare does not disrupt the user’s sleep.
The ergonomic wireless sensor weighs less than 10 g, including the gel pad, and measures about 4 cm from top to bottom. The flexible flaps on the sensor ensure that GrindCare will securely fit almost any head shape. GrindCare is intended for use by people older than 18. The sensor comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that has been tested to last for about 1,000 charging cycles. It can be charged by placing the sensor in the charging bay of the docking station.
GrindCare is currently available for sale in Germany, Denmark and Sweden, with a progressive extension planned to the rest of Europe and later globally in the near future. In Germany, it can be purchased without prescription for about €250 plus VAT.
Dental professionals who would like to offer the product to their patients are invited to join the Sunstar professional network. More information can be found at www.grindcare.com.