wow, I'd be bummed, if I had to wear an orthotic, just to get Grindcare to work! Many dentists still incorrectly think that malocclusion is the biggest cause of TMD bruxism. It is true that for a very few people, malocclusion can push a passing case of bruxism over to chronic TMD. But so can injuries, etc. Even so, it seems to me that bruxism is bruxism, is bruxism. If you are bruxing enough to cause pain and inflammation, Grindcare should be able to diagnose it (EMG) and to stop it (biofeedback). The EMG reads the clenching of brusism muscles, and the temporalis is reliable for EMG. When you used Grindcare in baseline monitoring only mode, for diagnosing, did you consistently get numbers of clenches per night, enough to know that bruxism is your diagnosis? And did your numbers of bruxes per night start going down when you turned on the biofeedback mode? It is the non-invasive way to stop bruxing, and I can't quite understand why you could need an orthotic, if it stops your bruxing,
open bite or no.
1. You said "even a really firm bite sometimes the unit would be going off oin some movemenets other thasn clenches( this is tryign the pad in many different positions)".
I don't get you here. First, can you feel the biofeedback, before calibration? This means you have a good EMG connection. I pick a biofeedback number, then I don't say ok right away, I select a different level to try, and this way I can check I have a good contact a few times, before saying ok, and then I go on to nightly calibration.
2. I never have had a problem with the gelpads not being sticky enough, so long as I stick it to a flat, cleaned, and dry area. One thing thing that sometimes drives me nuts is how you can't reposition the sticky gel pad many times, if at all. So if I place it badly, sometimes I have to use another, and they are so expensive! You're not re-positioning the electrode pad multiple times a night, are you? Find the clenching temporalis with your index finger, so you know where to slap the sticky electrode pad. btw, if you have ever seen a tech trying to use the old fashioned messy gel plus tape, to get a good contact for even a single electrode, you know how clever Grindcare's triple electrode gel pads are, in comparison. No wonder that in the bad old days, it was hard to get EMG anywhere but in hospitals, before someone invented these disposable sticky gel pads. I tried paper tape (for sensitive skin), too, and like you, it only worked if I taped only the tips down. But now that I make sure I stick to only clean, dry, flat skin, I don't need tape, because I almost never tear it off in my sleep any more.
3. During the bruxing calibration, are you making sure to do clenching and grinding that uses at least 60% of your masseter muscle force? I know for sure that if you don't brux hard enough, in those few seconds of calibration, your EMG won't "know" your brux, and it could cause the problem you described. You only get a few seconds to give the EMG a sample grind, so I try a strong clench or two, segueing to grinding around a bit.
4. If my skin is not completely dry, the sticky pad won't keep all three electrodes in good contact with my skin. I make sure that even if I have used alcohol to remove skin oils, I let my skin dry completely. Gotta get that good contact. One dentist had me try it on his forearm, but he not only had a hairy arm, but had put on moisturizing lotion that morning, and I never got a good contact. When I had him clean the hair free skin, on the other side, and tried a muscle there, it was easy, and he thought that tingle was the best thing since sliced bread.
5. If I have dampened the gel dots, I am careful to never ever let moisture spread, past the gel, to the band-aid sticky parts, since that can blow your connection, too. Like with band aids, you can't expect it to cling very well if you dampen the sticky part first. Supposedly placement is all that matters for almost everyone, and it's not necessary to moisten the gel dots. But I thought I would mention it because you spoke about repositioning, which could be problematic. And you have to make sure that you pull off the shorter cover plastic first, so that you place the proper side on your electrodes, and the proper side on your skin.
6. I also make sure that I place the triple electrode pad on the flattest part of my temple. The reason for this is that if I try to stick it over a curving part, the edges will loosen in the night. Since I even Botox'd my temporalis (Botox is bad for bruxers, btw), I have a lot of atrophy and curving - so for me it's unusually hard to find a flat area of the temporalis. I have to place it closer to my eyebrows than to my hairline, but that's me, probably a weird, very rare, case. Kind of like, don't put a teeny band aid over the top of your knuckle and expect it to stay on very long. I also make sure I place it on the temple of the side I sleep on least often, because I have yanked the thing off a couple of times. Usually when my hair gets in my way in my sleep, and I must be just stabbbing blindly at pushing my hair back, or whatever.
7. During your nightly calibration, are you being sure to truly relax for those few seconds of calibration, where you're supposed to show the EMG what relaxed looks like, for you? During the relaxed calibration, I make sure to keep the tip of my tongue on the roof of my mouth, just behind my front teeth, to make sure that I can not clench inadverdently during this calibration. I think you already covered this, but it goes with step 2 above, so that the EMG only reacts to what you want it to react to. Sorry I didn't think of this until number 7, but hey, I'm not a grindcare expert.
8. Thinking about where I quoted you in step 1. above, if you are calibrating relaxed, and then bruxing, without error messages, how is it that you know that you are getting excess CES biofeedback? And how do you know it's biofeedbacking even when you are not bruxing? Have you worn the unit while awake, or what? I'm just not sure I know enough to ask all the possible questions well, so I'm groping here.
9. This could really screw up your biofeedback: have you increased the sensitivity of the unit? In the grinddock's configuration settings screen, the one with the wrench icon, one of the choices is to set sensitivity. The higher the number, the harder you have to brux before the unit notices. I can't remember what the factory default setting is. But I set mine to be sensitive to any clenching at all, setting mine at 15. For you, when you've done everything else right, I think maybe try setting your sensitivity, to require more forceful movement before the electrodes register (setting your number closer to 99 than to 1). Might be worth trying. This is kind of goes with steps 1, 2, and 7, because it decides when you want the EMG to react, or not to react. It seems logical that you need a valid calibration of relaxed, of clenching, and an appropriate sensitivity; all three. (Let alone a contact of all 3 electrodes with your skin over the temporalis).
7. Have you ruled out apnea? One of the few conditions that causes jawing around, like gasping, for example, is apnea. Have to mention it, since it could harm you before bruxism does, I bet. One can use Grindcare with an apnea machine, so I don't think apnea causes over-firing of biofeedback.
Wow, when I look at what I just wrote, it sure makes it seem more complicated than it really is. It takes me longer to brush my teeth, than to use Grindcare.
I have a question for myself, that maybe you can help me with. Have you ever set your biofeedback level too high? I wish I could tell you that I have experienced this problem. But after botoxing everything, more than once, I can't get my biofeedback strong enough!!! Can you believe it? So much atrophy and damage that I don't have enough sensory nerves, I think! If I stick the electrode on my arm, or somebody else's arm, or wherever, a biofeedback level of 4 is perfectly noticeable, at least if I'm awake. But I have so little sensation around my temple, that even setting mine to nine, I barely notice the biofeedback sometimes! I want to tell those wonderful people in Denmark that I need the Spinal Tap level (like when he said he could turn the volume up all the way to eleven, ha ha).