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Dental Glossary

Deprogrammer

A type of bite appliance for patients with muscle pain, or myositis. It allows only the front teeth to touch, eliminates clenching and grinding for most patients, and relaxes muscles. It IS NOT for all day use; it is usually prescribed for nighttime therapy. Many studies have shown that the majority of dangerous clenching, grinding, and bruxism occurs at night in the deepest sleep stages, even in people who snore with their teeth apart in lighter sleep stages. Studies have also shown that when asleep, with inhibitory muscle reflexes decreased, people can and clench with four to five times the muscle force that they could consciously develop. Hence myositis can develop in overworked muscles, with the net effect of a "charley horse" in your jaw muscles. The deprogrammer helps to relieve these muscular symptoms.