High concept

Hear that pulverizing din? That's the sound of approximately 3 million people grinding their teeth. Every night, in houses and apartments across the country, sleepers gnash away, wearing down their tooth enamel and sometimes cracking those pearly whites. In the morning they wake up with headaches and aching jaws. Often, they have no idea why.

Nicholas Kondon, CEO of BruxCare Inc., thinks he can bring all that grinding to a halt. Kondon's company, based in Providence, makes GrindAlert, a black headband containing a tiny computerized sensor that monitors the electrical current in jaw muscles at three contact points on a person's head. When sleepers start to grind or clench their teeth, GrindAlert beeps, rousing them from slumber and alerting them to their nighttime mastication. The repeated prompting, as with other biofeedback programs, should eventually curtail the behavior, says Kondon. The sensor tracks the number of beeps emitted during the night so that wearers can follow their improvement over time. "It puts you in the treatment plan," Kondon says. "You get up in the morning, and you know what the score is."

NIGHTCAP: BruxCare announces an invention with teeth.

Patients will be able to obtain the device through their dentists, says Kondon, for $300 to $400 -- which is about how much the least expensive mouth guards currently available sell for. He expects to start distributing GrindAlert to dentists this month.



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