Recently, a company named Holistic Technologies issued a promotional media release pitching a product it claims has the power to relieve common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. Dubbed “biofeedback headbands,” these products supposedly work by conditioning the user into making behavior modifications that will help relieve their TMD. According to the manufacturer, users wear a headband which has the power to sense jaw clenching during sleep. When users clench, the headband supposedly senses changes in the temporalis muscles at the temples. When it does, it emits a sound which prompts the user to stop clenching. According to Holistic Technologies, over time, this process will cause users to stop clenching their jaws during sleep, thereby indirectly relieving common TMD symptoms, such as headaches, neck pain, tooth pain and jaw pain.
Is it a Realistic Approach?
Unfortunately for TMD sufferers, biofeedback headbands aren’t a realistic approach to treating TMJ disorder. Any reasonable person can see a problem with a treatment that emits annoying noises during sleep. Not only is this likely to lead to frequent waking and sleep deprivation; it’s not likely to have any sort of impact on jaw clenching while a person is unconscious. It also fails to address the most common root cause of temporomandibular joint disorder: a misaligned bite.
An Effective Treatment
Holistic remedies such as acupuncture, massage, yoga and biofeedback headbands all have one thing in common: they cannot provide lasting TMD relief, because they cannot correct a sufferer’s misaligned bite.