Join Clinical Trials for Teeth Grinding Or Clenching
Teeth grinding or clenching – also known as bruxism – seems harmless enough. We’ve all done it when stressed out, nervous, or worried. It’s unconscious but typically controllable for most people.
For others, however, teeth grinding can be extremely troublesome and in some cases, even severe enough to lead to the development of jaw disorders, headaches, chronic facial pain, and tooth damage. Some people have a condition known as sleep bruxism, in which they unconsciously grind their teeth at night while sleeping.
Scientists don’t fully understand what causes individuals to grind their teeth, although many agree that a number of psychological causes may be related, including anxiety, suppressed anger, and aggressive or competitive personality type. In addition, certain physical causes have also been identified, including abnormal alignment of the teeth, response to pain due to ear aches or teething, and complications from an underlying disorder such as Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
Currently, research efforts are geared toward developing new and more effective methods of treating teeth grinding and managing its associated symptoms.
What Will Teeth Grinding Clinical Trials Be Like?
Clinical trials for teeth grinding may involve many common tests and procedures; however, the ultimate design of the particular study will determine which specific procedures you will undergo. Examples of specific tests and procedures that may be used include the following:
- Detailed exam of the teeth, mouth, and gums.
- Detailed review of your medical history.
- Detailed examination of the ears to identify possible underlying ear disorders or infections.
- Examination of the jaw to identify problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
- Blood tests to look for indications of an underlying disease or condition.
- Dental x-rays
- Detailed recent history of stress, anxiety, and tension.
- Detailed list of current medication use.
- You may be asked to complete brief questionnaires to evaluate your quality of life, pain level, and/or level of depression and/or anxiety.
Typical Teeth Grinding Clinical Trial Protocol:
Specific examples of clinical trials for teeth grinding might include the following:
- A study in which the facial pattern, orthodontic bone structure, and tooth alignment of individuals who suffer from bruxism are analyzed to identify possible patterns that may be associated with an increased risk of teeth grinding.
- A randomized clinical trial in which individuals with sleep bruxism are randomly assigned to receive regular injections with botulism toxin (Botox) or placebo to determine if the use of botulism toxin decreases the frequency of teeth grinding during sleep, lessens the force with which teeth are clinched, and results in improvements in pain.
- A study that evaluates the feasibility of treating children who suffer from sleep bruxism with soft vinyl mouth guards during sleep.
- A clinical trial to compare the effects of two separate anti-anxiety medications on the rate of daytime and sleep-related teeth grinding to determine if one is more effective than the other at improving a) overall frequency of bruxism and b) generalized anxiety.
A brief word about randomized trials and placebos:
Many clinical trials involve the comparison of an investigational treatment to a “standard” treatment. Some studies determine which therapy a patient receives through a process known as randomization, in which patients are randomly assigned to receive either the investigational treatment or the standard treatment.
On occasion, a trial will investigate the use of a standard treatment plus a new drug compared to standard treatment plus a placebo. Placebos are inactive or “sham” treatments that are identical in appearance to the active treatment but have no therapeutic value.
Placebos are necessary to help determine if adverse effects that occur during the clinical trial are the result of the investigational treatment or due to some other factor. They also allow researchers to measure the effects of the active treatment and observe what would have happened without it.
In rare instances where no standard therapy exists, or when a new drug or therapy is being investigated, the investigational treatment might be compared to a placebo alone (such as the second clinical trial example provided above). In these types of trials, those patients who are randomized to the placebo group do not receive an active treatment.
It is important to know that placebo-only trials are only conducted when scientifically necessary and when patients have been adequately informed that they may end up receiving the placebo rather than the active treatment. It is very important to note, however, that no one should ever participate in such a placebo trial when there is a widely available and highly effective standard treatment already in existence for their particular disease or condition.
Trial Eligibility and Medical Information Needed:
The type of clinical trial you may be eligible for often depends on many factors. Therefore, it is important to know as many details as possible with regard to your specific circumstances when searching for clinical trials. Examples of information you may want to have on hand include the following:
- Your specific pattern of teeth grinding (i.e., daytime, during sleep, certain situations)
- Your history of treatment for teeth grinding.
- Your prior and current diagnoses of any health conditions or diseases.
- Your current medications (including vitamins and other dietary supplements).
Suggested Search Terms:
“teeth grinding management,” “teeth grinding treatment,” “teeth grinding anxiety,” “teeth grinding depression,” “teeth grinding stress,” “teeth grinding medication,” “teeth grinding sleep,” and “teeth grinding children.”
Current Search Term:
“Teeth Grinding Or Clenching”