Effects of a contingent vibratory stimulus delivered by an intra-oral device on sleep bruxism: a pilot study

  • Hirotaka Nakamura
  • Masayuki Takaba
  • Yuka Abe
  • Shuichiro Yoshizawa
  • Takeshi Suganuma
  • Yuya Yoshida
  • Yukari Nakazato
  • Yasuhiro Ono
  • Glenn T. Clark
  • Kazuyoshi BabaEmail author
Dentistry • Original Article



Although sleep bruxism (SB) is one of the most important clinical problems in dental practice, there is no definitive method for controlling it. This pilot study evaluated the effects of contingent vibratory feedback stimuli using an occlusal splint for inhibition of sleep bruxism.


Thirteen subjects with clinically diagnosed SB participated after providing an informed consent. Portable polysomnographic recordings were conducted in the subjects’ home environment to make a definitive SB diagnosis and to evaluate the effects of the vibratory stimuli on SB. A force-based bruxism detection system, which used a pressure-sensitive piezoelectric film embedded in the occlusal splint, was utilized to trigger vibration feedback stimuli, which was scheduled to be applied intermittently for 30 min, at 30-min intervals.


The number of SB episodes (times/hour), the total SB duration (seconds/hour), the mean duration of SB episodes (seconds/episode), and the micro-arousal index (times/hour) were scored for each time period (with and without vibration). The effects of the vibration on these scores were tested (paired t test; p < 0.05). The number of SB episodes tended to decrease with the vibration stimuli, and the decrease in the total SB duration was statistically significant (14.3 ± 9.5 vs. 26.0 ± 20.0, p = 0.03). No substantial change was found in terms of the micro-arousal index.


These study results suggested that the SB inhibitory system employing a vibratory stimulus might be able to suppress the total SB duration without disturbing sleep.


Biofeedback Masseter EMG activity Portable polysomnography Sleep bruxism Stabilization splint 


Authors’ contributions

K Baba and H Nakamura designed the study. H Nakamura, M Takaba, Y Abe, and S Yoshizawa wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. Y Nakazato and Y Yoshida contributed to analysis and interpretation of data, and assisted in the preparation of the manuscript. All other authors have contributed to data collection and interpretation, and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Funding information

This study was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI Grant No. 16K20514, Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (Ethics Committee of Showa University School of Dentistry, No.2014-034) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Statement of informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hirotaka Nakamura
    • 1
  • Masayuki Takaba
    • 1
  • Yuka Abe
    • 1
  • Shuichiro Yoshizawa
    • 1
  • Takeshi Suganuma
    • 2
  • Yuya Yoshida
    • 1
  • Yukari Nakazato
    • 1
  • Yasuhiro Ono
    • 1
  • Glenn T. Clark
    • 3
  • Kazuyoshi Baba
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Prosthodontics, School of DentistryShowa UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Temporomandibular Disorders, Clinic School of DentistryShowa UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine Center and Distance Learning Office, Herman Ostrow School of DentistryUniversity of Southern California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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